WHO: Healthcare workers to get COVID-19 vaccine after senior citizens

On August 25, 2020, the World Health Organization announced that the health care workers are to receive COVID-19 vaccine after senior citizens.

Highlights

According to Amnesty International, around 3,000 healthcare workers have died of COVID-19. It is 196 in India according to Indian Medical Association.

With this data, the international organization is providing importance to the healthcare workers.

WHO has designed COVAX facility to ensure equitable access of the vaccine to all countries. There are more than 172 countries engaging in COVAX facility.

COVAX Facility

The facility was launched by WHO in association with GAVI (Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization). COVAX is COVID-19 global Access Facility. It was launched at Global Vaccine Summit 2020.

The World Health Organization is launching these initiatives to avoid Vaccine Nationalism

What is Vaccine Nationalism?

A country manages to develop and secure vaccines for its own citizens begore they are made available in other countries. This is called Vaccine Nationalism. For instance, the leading economies of the world UK, USA, China have spent billions of dollars in developing COVID-19 vaccine. On the other hand, certain Afrcian countries have not begun their research on COVID-19 vaccines.

Vaccine Nationalism is not new. During H1N1 pandemic, the developed countries offered to donate vaccines to the poor economies only after it began to recede. However, H1N1 was much milder as compared to COVID-19. Thus, COVAX like initiatives are important to provide equitable access to vaccines.

Laws

There are no international rules or laws to prevent vaccine nationalism. Also, there are no provisions to prevent pre-purchase agreements.

Current Scenario

The US, UK, Japan and European Union have already secured 1.3 billion doses of potential COVID-19 vaccines. The US has signed deal to buy 800 million doses from six drug makers and UK has signed deal to obtain 280 million from five drug makers.

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