US lags on commitment to global vaccine access despite new poll showing majority of Americans reject vaccine nationalism

WASHINGTON — On the heels of new polling, which found that an overwhelming majority of Americans reject the idea of vaccine nationalism, a new resource from The ONE Campaign details how the United States is impeding global vaccine access. The Vaccine Access Test reveals that 15 of the 20 G20 countries receive an “impeding equity” score, the lowest possible rating. No G20 country receives an “advancing equity” score, the highest possible rating.

The resource comes amid a high-level event today hosted by the UN Secretary General, the United Kingdom and South Africa in support of the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A), a global collaboration aimed at raising money to deploy a globally accessible COVID-19 vaccine. Earlier this month, the Trump administration announced it would not participate in the initiative, opting instead to go it alone on a COVID-19 vaccine.

The U.S. scorecard is available here.

“This is a moment that demands international unity and collective action, but we have too many countries lagging and not enough leading,” said Gayle Smith, CEO and President of The ONE Campaign. “Every time that our political leaders fail to act not just nationally but also internationally, the lifespan of the pandemic increases.”

“The US is a leader in the race to find a COVID-19 vaccine, but to date, our actions have not supported global access,” said Tom Hart, North America executive director, The ONE Campaign. “It’s imperative the US commits to fairly distribute an eventual COVID-19 vaccine and financially support proven global health programs that are focused on fighting COVID-19 like Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the Global Fund, and CEPI. Ensuring global access to a COVID-19 vaccine isn’t just an act of common humanity, it is an act of common sense. Because viruses don’t respect borders, the only way to protect ourselves here is to defeat it everywhere.”

The Vaccine Access Test will be continually updated to reflect new developments and provide guidance for improving scores. Going forward, ONE will use the Vaccine Access Test to continually score G20 governments and provide rapid assessments of every new COVID-19 vaccine deal that is announced between G20 countries and pharmaceutical companies.

As the US scorecard shows, the US is a leader in the race to find a COVID-19 vaccine, providing over $12 billion in public funding for R&D and manufacturing and supporting clinical trials. But to date, the U.S.’s actions have not been oriented toward global equity – they have not funded ACT-A, not joined COVAX, and have not implemented policies that will improve access globally. The US can improve its score by providing financial support to the ACT-Accelerator and use its market-shaping power to ensure that as vaccines come to market the initial supply is not monopolized by the US.

Resources

  • A summary of the scorecards can be found here.
  • The U.S. scorecard is available here. The complete set of scorecards for the Vaccine Access Test can be found here.
  • The methodology for how these scores were awarded can be found here.
  • View ONE’s poll results here and the crosstabs here.

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