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Wednesday, August 4, 2021

COVAX Calls For Equal Recognition Of Vaccines

The Facility wants Government to accord equal recognition to everyone who have been vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccines that have been deemed safe and approved by WHO or 11 Stringent Regulatory Authorities (SRAs)

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Justina Asishana
Justina Asishana
Justina Asishana is a Nigerian from Edo state. She is a data and investigative journalist who also fact-checks. She covers health, agriculture, education and governance

Geneva/New York/Oslo: COVAX has called on regional, national and local government authorities to recognize as fully vaccinated all people who have been vaccinated with COVID-19 vaccines that are on the  WHO Emergency Use Listing (EUL) and/or the 11 Stringent Regulatory Authorities (SRAs) approved for COVID-19 vaccines.

The Facility cautions that discrimination among vaccinated travelers regarding the type of vaccines they were vaccinated with would create a two-tier system.

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According to the Facility, this would further widening the global vaccine divide and exacerbating the inequities that have been seen in the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines.

This appeal was contained in a joint COVAX statement by CEPI, GAVI, WHO and UNICEF on Friday.

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“As travel and other possibilities begin to open up in some parts of the world, COVAX urges all regional, national and local government authorities to recognize as fully vaccinated all people who have received COVID-19 vaccines that have been deemed safe and effective by the World Health Organization and/or the 11 Stringent Regulatory Authorities (SRAs) approved for COVID-19 vaccines, when making decisions on who can travel or attend events.

“Any measure that only allows people protected by a subset of WHO-approved vaccines to benefit from the re-opening of travel into and with that region would effectively create a two-tier system, further widening the global vaccine divide and exacerbating the inequities we have already seen in the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines”, the statement read.

Impact

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The statement while noting that some nations are discriminating over the type of vaccines used by travellers stated that such moves are already undermining the confidence in life-saving vaccines that have already been shown to be safe and effective, affecting uptake of vaccines and putting billions of people at risk.

“Such moves are already undermining confidence in life-saving vaccines that have already been shown to be safe and effective, affecting uptake of vaccines and potentially putting billions of people at risk. 

“At a time when the world is trying to resume trade, commerce and travel, this is counter-effective, both in spirit and outcome. It would negatively impact the growth of economies that are already suffering the most.”

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COVAX then commended countries that have already shown commitment to equity and have accepted vaccinated travellers regardless of which vaccines used and has called on other nations and regions to do the same. 

COVAX reiterated its determination to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines in order to protect the health of people all across the globe. 

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