The Jerusalem Post
Doctors Without Borders launches petition for fair COVID vaccine allotment
‘This pandemic will not be over until it’s over for everyone, everywhere,’ NGO insists
The nonprofit organization Doctors Without Borders is calling on its members worldwide to sign a petition to enable equitable vaccine distribution and help end the COVID-19 crisis.
“This pandemic will not be over until it’s over for everyone, everywhere,” the organization wrote on its petition webpage, which was distributed over the weekend via email to its member list and through social media. “The world needs more doses now. Every day we wait, more people will die. We run the risk that new variants – possibly with the potential to spread in spite of currently available vaccines – will take hold.”
The petition comes as Israel launched a campaign to provide booster shots to its immunocompromised citizens and as Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said on Friday that health experts are examining whether third shots should be administered to the rest of the population, especially the elderly.
Israel had administered at least one dose to some 5.7 million eligible citizens. The Delta variant is causing a surge in cases worldwide,
including in the Jewish state. Some studies have shown the Pfizer vaccine to be only 64% effective against contracting the variant.
More than 40% of the world’s vaccine doses have been used in high-income countries. Low-income countries have administered
Last week, World Health Organization Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus slammed the notion of providing boosters when so many nations have had little access to first doses, even for their healthcare workers and elderly who are most at-risk.
“We are making conscious choices right now not to protect those in need,” he said, calling on Pfizer and Moderna to “go all out to supply COVAX, the Africa Vaccine Acquisition Task Team and low- and middle-income countries.”
Doctors Without Borders called it “unconscionable that millions more people will die waiting for vaccines just because of where they live.”
The petition will be submitted to US President Joe Biden, the organization said.
Specifically, it is calling on his administration to share more surplus vaccine doses as quickly and widely as possible; help scale up mRNA vaccine manufacturing capacity; remove intellectual property barriers that limit the ability to produce the vaccines; and open the “black box” to reveal how pharmaceutical corporations spend taxpayer dollars to bring vaccines to market.
“The fight against COVID-19 is global – and will only be successful if we share our resources globally, freely, and quickly,” the organization wrote. “Add your name now and demand that we give everyone a shot.”