ACS to address vaccine inequity in Caribbean

A health worker holds a vial of covid19 vaccine. File photo
A health worker holds a vial of covid19 vaccine. File photo

Public health officials from around the Caribbean are set to address access to covid19 vaccines, equitable vaccination, logistics, communicating and other issues related to social protection from covid19 at the virtual ACS Multi-Stakeholder Task Force meeting on covid19 meeting next Monday.

As countries in the region struggle with the impact of the pandemic on the health and prosperity of their people, including access to vaccines, the ACS said in a statement on Wednesday that it is seeking to facilitate joint regional action to tackle vaccine inequity.

UN secretary general António Guterres has called for more equitable distribution of covid19 vaccines, noting that ten nations are in control of 75 per cent of the vaccines available.

ACS members have shown great solidarity, sharing vaccines, research, exchanging best practices and health care workers, he said.

The meeting will provide a forum for members to exchange best practices and find commonalities regarding the various strains of covid19, the different vaccines available and national public campaigns for vaccination drives.

The meeting will also facilitate discussion on procurement mechanisms and national capacity to deliver the vaccines, including personal protective equipment (PPE) stock, training health care workers, and storage facilities.

The organisation said while a focus of the meeting will be the logistics of vaccination drives, there will also be attention to the ongoing social crisis caused by the pandemic and the disproportionate impact on vulnerable groups.

ACS secretary general Rodolfo Sabonge said in the statement that herd immunity can only be reached when a sufficient number of people have developed antibodies, and that can only happen when there is equitable vaccination worldwide.

In March 2020, ACS ministers of Foreign Affairs and Health met and shared experiences at the beginning of the pandemic. They established a multi-sectoral task force to facilitate co-operative action aimed at halting the negative impact of covid19 in the region and prepare for a different future after the pandemic.


"ACS to address vaccine inequity in Caribbean"

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