Act now or face a decade-long pandemic, warn campaigners

Rome, 28th October. As the G20 leaders prepare to meet in person for the first time since the start of the pandemic, new analysis released by the ONE Campaign today reveals the chief obstacles standing in the way of global efforts to end the pandemic.

The analysis shows that a key challenge remains the uneven distribution of vaccines. To date, twice as many boosters were administered in high-income countries as first dose vaccines in low and middle-income countries. If the current trend continues, ONE warns that it could take over a decade before countries can secure enough vaccines to put an end to this crisis.

The other key barrier identified in ONE’s report to ending the crisis is the insufficient financial support and failure to address the economic aftershocks of the pandemic. Despite the historic $650 billion in new Special Drawing Rights (SDR), the lack of commitment from some wealthy countries to recycle their portion risks crippling economic recovery for all. Other challenges flagged in the report include vaccine manufacturing capacity, the mechanism to purchase and distribute doses to low-income countries and the lack of predictable vaccine flows. 

Failure to put a stop to the uneven health and economic response – driven by double standards and inequality – will push this pandemic into an increasingly man-made crisis that could continue into the 2030s.

Emily Wigens, EU Director at the ONE Campaign, said: 

“This pandemic isn’t over for any of us, so it’s in the interests of the people everywhere in the world for countries to put aside differences and work together to end this crisis. COVID-19 is not going to get better on its own. 

“We need to turn 18 months of failure into 18 months of lessons on how to do this better – starting by putting a stop to the deadly double standards that leave us all at risk from this virus. This isn’t just a health crisis – it’s an economic crisis and a threat to the security of people everywhere. 

“This needs to be the moment when we turn commitments into real doses in people’s arms, and get real financial support or we face the prospect of continuing to fail and having to live with the pandemic, and its consequences, indefinitely. It’s time to vaccinate the world, end the pandemic and kickstart a genuinely global recovery.”

ENDS – 

Contact information: 

Emily Wigens will be available for comment throughout the G20 summit in Rome. For more information, please contact:

Guadalupe de las Casas Escardo ([email protected] +32472717420 )
Brenda Yu ([email protected] +447823667467)

Notes to editors 

  • Check out ONE’s latest policy brief titled “The 5 biggest blocks to ending the COVID-19 Pandemic for good
  • Ahead of the G20 Leaders Summit, ONE is urging G20 Leaders not to waste their meeting in Rome this weekend. In particular, the G20 leaders must agree on a time-bound commitment to deliver the 70% global vaccination target – something that will take at least another decade to achieve at the current rate of progress. ONE is also calling on leaders to recycle at least $100 billion of their’ Special Drawing Rights allocation by the end of this year
  • The uneven distribution of vaccines is being exacerbated because wealthy countries are prioritising booster campaigns – despite having fully vaccinated much of their own populations.  Meanwhile, many low-income countries have only vaccinated a fraction of their populations – leaving millions unprotected, including the most vulnerable and vital frontline health workers. 

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