TOO MANY LAGGARDS AND NOT ENOUGH LEADERS
New Tracker Shows World Still Lagging On Vaccine Access
Earlier today, ONE Campaign CEO and President Gayle Smith announced the launch of a new Vaccine Access Test, whilst speaking at a high-level event hosted by the UN Secretary General, the United Kingdom and South Africa.
The Vaccine Access Test will assess whether governments and leading pharmaceutical companies are helping to reduce the lifespan of the COVID-19 pandemic by ensuring effective COVID-19 vaccines are available to people everywhere, or if their actions are impeding global access to vaccines and prolonging the pandemic as a result.
The Vaccine Access Test is the most comprehensive assessment to date of commitments to improve global vaccine coverage and will continually evaluate how G20 member countries and leading pharmaceutical companies are performing against four key measures:
- Supporting the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A): Have they invested in the ACT-A or helped to improve its impact?
- Multilateral Leadership: Have they advanced the global cooperation needed to drive vaccine coverage?
- Policies: Are countries pursuing policies that help ensure COVID-19 vaccines are accessible to all globally?
- Deals: Do individual deals advance global access to vaccines
Despite many countries acknowledging the importance of fair access to vaccines and therapeutics to defeat the pandemic, we are not seeing the progress needed. As the initial scores from the Vaccine Access Test show – even the best performing countries and companies are not yet meeting the standards needed to beat the virus everywhere.
No country currently scores well enough to achieve status as “advancing access,” and only the UK, African Union, European Commission, France, Germany, and Italy qualify for the second tier, rated as “room for improvement.” Several other G20 countries including the United States, Japan, Russia and China are currently rated as ‘impeding global coverage’. Of the pharmaceutical companies, Astrazeneca scores best – but there still has room for improvement.
Gayle Smith, CEO and President of the ONE Campaign, said “We all know exactly what’s at stake. This pandemic threatens the lives and livelihoods of every single person on this planet. No country, community or individual is immune from its effects.
“It’s in our collective self-interest to beat this disease as quickly as possible. We also know how to do this. We need to achieve global coverage for vaccines and therapeutics, starting with those who need them most.
“This is a moment that demands international unity and collective action, but we’ve got too many laggards and not enough leaders. And every time that our political leaders fail to act not just nationally but also internationally, the lifespan of the pandemic increases.”
The Vaccine Access Test will be continually updated to reflect new developments, providing scope for scores to improve. ONE will use the Vaccine Access Test to provide rapid assessments of every new deal that is agreed.
Commenting on the deals signed to date, Gayle Smith said: “Although the number of deals being made between governments and pharmaceutical companies is a positive sign of their determination to beat the virus, there are worrying signs that governments are trying to hoard large supplies of vaccines for domestic use when the science tells us we need to deploy vaccines everywhere to shorten the lifespan of the pandemic.”
The Vaccine Access Test was developed in consultation with experts from The Vaccine Centre at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
Professor Beate Kampmann, Director of the Vaccine Centre at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine states: “To bring safe and effective SARS-CoV2 vaccines to populations worldwide is what we need to get on top of the pandemic – and many steps are involved to achieve this important goal. We have been delighted to support ONE in developing the robust methodology underlying the Vaccine Access Test, which will monitor how governments and industry turn their expressed commitments into accountable action.”