As the number of new Covid-19 contaminations increases in some countries such as Germany, Portugal, and South Korea, searchers keep working hard to find an effective vaccine against the novel coronavirus as soon as possible. A race against time that grows urgent, while some scientists fear a likely second wave this Fall.
On Sunday June 28, 2020, 13 NGOs have launched a call to make sure the upcoming vaccine against the novel coronavirus be accessible to everyone across the world. Leaders of these NGOs, including former French ministers Cécile Duflot (Oxfam), and Najat Vallaud-Belkacem (France One), as well as Thierry Allafort (Médecins sans frontiers), Philippe de Botton (Médecins du Monde), and even Florence Thune (Sidaction), warn against a “vaccine nationalism”.
“Fears that vaccine nationalism added to a race for benefits likely to jeopardize the access of people the most exposed and helpless, especially those living in emerging countries, are real” NGO leaders explained in a joint column published in French Journal du Dimanche newspaper.
“For two months, global summits follow one another, and France is willing to make the upcoming vaccine against SARS-CoV2 accessible everywhere across the world” they say. But “backstage, a harsh competition for the development and the competition of vaccines has started between nations and pharmaceutical groups” they add.
“Our associations experienced years of fighting to get access to treatments, against an unscrupulous pharmaceutical industry. The same mistakes cannot happen again!” the NGOs consider, emphasizing that “to make of the upcoming vaccines a world public good, we need to assure affordable prices for all countries and populations”.
For the record, France has teamed up with Germany, the Netherlands, and Italy within the inclusive alliance for a vaccine. Together, they recently announced they have signed a first principle agreement with the AstraZeneca laboratory to buy several millions of doses of vaccines.