Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust, warned that it is time for the UK to start sharing the covid vaccine with other underdeveloped countries.
Medical researchers said yesterday after Boris Johnson announced that more than half of the UK adult population received their first jab. He said the award was a fantastic achievement. Let’s keep going, he added.
Farrar also praised the achievements he performed within three months. But now we have to start thinking across borders, he said.
The UK has access to 100 million surplus vaccinations. It is enough to vaccinate all citizens twice. This dosage is not used in the UK. That’s when we started sharing dosages with people around the world who needed it the most.
This is not an ethical issue, but a scientific and economically essential issue, Farrar added. If left unchecked in many places around the world, the virus runs the risk of mutating to the point that our vaccines and treatments no longer work, leaving us all exposed. Science has given us an exit strategy, but it will only work if its benefits can reach the largest people around the world.
Farrar’s involvement came when UNICEF announced that it was gathering a coalition of faith groups, fundraising events, celebrities and corporations to provide vaccines to 190 countries under the banner of VaccinAid.
The UK UNICEF Commission hopes to capitalize on the optimism created by the vaccination push to capture the spirit of containment fundraising activities like Captain Sir Tom Moore.
Those vaccinated across the UK will have the opportunity to donate or raise funds, and the campaign is asking the public, celebrities, and businesses to find ways to raise funds through VaccinAid.org.
The campaign is sponsored by the NHS and the chief rabbi and main imam, Archbishop of Canterbury, under the slogan Give the World a Shot.
VaccinAid was conceived by Crowdfunder, a fundraising website that worked with Marcus Rashford in the Manchester United Football Players Campaign to Fight Childhood Poverty. Rob Love, founder of Crowdfunders, said he was inspired by the many vaccinated people who wanted to raise money for a global vaccine program.
We want as many people to participate as possible. We already know that people want to contribute and are coming out of the Vaccine Center and asking how they can contribute. Over the past 12 months, I’ve confirmed with Captain Tom and Marcus Rashford that the world of charitable donations and fundraising has changed completely. People tried to put them together because they decide for themselves what they want to do without hearing what to do.
VaccinAid is part of Covax’s global vaccine launch, a World Health Organization coalition that purchases vaccines for low- and middle-income countries that do not have the resources to negotiate directly with vaccine manufacturers.
Two billion vaccines are expected to be delivered this year. The first vaccines arrived in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire last month, and so far, about 8 million have been delivered. The G7 leaders promised a total of 5.3 billion last month, and the British government donated $545 million.
Dr. Robin Nandy, UNICEF’s head of immunization, said it is important to raise additional funds to help distribute the vaccine, especially in countries with poor infrastructure.
Most low-income countries do not have adult vaccination programs. So, unless we pool resources for Covid-19 vaccine delivery, countries will use resources for child immunization programs.
We don’t want it because childhood vaccinations will be painful and will lead to measles and polio in parallel to what we suffered from Covid-19.
Actor and British Ambassador to UNICEF David Harewood: We can’t do without public support to fund this historic vaccine initiative. Photo: Lester Cohen/Getty Images
Vaccination in the UK is heavily dependent on the NHS supply chain, which does not exist in many parts of the world, Nandy said. So, you have to start almost from scratch. Simple things like shipping vaccines can be a stumbling block. It should be remembered that some regional groups may not have the money to pay for fuel, and the shelf life of Covid vaccines is relatively short.
The emergence of the Covid variant means that the British people have a selfish interest in seeing not only altruistic people but the rest of the world vaccinated.
British UNICEF actor and ambassador David Harewood said he had witnessed firsthand how much effort UNICEF employees put into distributing the vaccine.
In Sierra Leone, he said, I saw them arriving at the coldest crates of boats in the most remote areas of the United States so they could reach the arms of the most inaccessible communities.
The purely logistic operations of everything are amazing, well established, but we can’t do without public support to fund this historic antivirus drive. I believe no one is safe until all of us are safe. One thing I’ve learned from going through this epidemic last year is that kindness and fairness have the power to do amazing things.
Archbishop Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, who initially gathered religious groups to carry out the project, said he was pleased that the church and other religious groups were supporting the campaign. Marvel actor and another UNICEF British publicist, Gemma Chan, said she was very proud to support this.
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