Will equal access to vaccines bring an end to the pandemic?

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It’s a crucial step, obviously, and in many richer countries, life is getting back to some sort of normality for many people, even if some pandemic protocols are still in place. The situation in less developed countries is more challenging. While the delivery of vaccines, provided under the COVAX Facility, is being welcomed across the world, weak health systems, including shortages of health workers are contributing to mounting access and distribution challenges on the ground.

© UNICEF/Antoine Raab
Students at a school in Cambodia are studying despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

And equity issues don’t disappear once vaccines are physically delivered in country; in some nations, both rich and poor, inequities in distribution may still persist.

It’s also worth remembering that the imperative of providing equal access to health care is, of course, not a new issue, but central to the Sustainable Development Goals and more precisely, SDG 3 on good health and well-being, which calls for achieving universal health coverage and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all.

SDG Moment

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Achim Steiner, the Administrator of the UN Development Programme (UNDP, and Vera Songwe, who runs the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) will take part in a conversation on vaccine equity as part of the SDG Moment. Watch here on UN Web TV.

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