Today (02/12/20), the UK has become the first Western country to approve a vaccine to protect against COVID-19. The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine will reportedly be available to the most vulnerable groups as soon as next week. While this progress is welcome news, anti-poverty organisation ONE cautioned that there is a long way to go in the fight against the virus globally. It is essential that rich countries do not to hoard the vaccine at the expense of poorer countries, or this might prolong the pandemic and even undermine today’s positive news.
Romilly Greenhill, UK Director at The ONE Campaign, said: “This is welcome news for people everywhere – which potentially marks the beginning of the end of the pandemic.
“But we will not properly protect people anywhere until we get vaccines everywhere. The epidemiology is straightforward – to be safe in our own towns and cities we need to ensure that people across the world are also being vaccinated.
“The worst thing we can do at this moment is allow a small number of countries to monopolise access to vaccines like this. This increases the threat to the lives and livelihoods of people at home and abroad and risks extending the lifetime of a pandemic that we now know how to end.”