COVID-19 vaccines should be a shared asset of international community: Deputy PM

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Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Phạm Bình Minh spoke at Wednesday UN Security Council meeting on COVID-19 access. — VNA/VNS Photo Lâm Khánh

HÀ NỘI — COVID-19 vaccines should be considered a shared asset of the international community, and delivered to countries at affordable prices with priority given to vulnerable groups and frontline workers, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Phạm Bình Minh said on Wednesday.

The official made the statement during a virtual open debate of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on ensuring equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines in places affected by conflicts and insecurity.

Minh called on the international community to implement a strategy on pandemic response and vaccination, saying the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) mechanism needs more support from countries so vaccines can be distrusted equitably to developing countries and people in conflict-hit areas.

Ensuring an environment of peace and stability, and protecting essential infrastructure are key factors to vaccine universalisation, he said.

He proposed the UNSC step up the implementation of Resolution 2532, especially the call for a global ceasefire, considering this a prerequisite for the UN and other bodies to deliver vaccines for humanitarian purposes.

The international community needs to deal with the root cause of conflicts, uncertainties and inequalities while engaging in global multi-lateral efforts led by the UN to build a strong and self-reliant medical system and boost development co-operation, and global trade post-COVID-19, the Vietnamese diplomat stressed.

Deputy PM Minh said the enhanced solidarity and multilateral co-operation, both regionally and globally, would help cope with the pandemic.

As an active member of ASEAN and the UN, Việt Nam will make more contributions to joint efforts in the pandemic fight, Minh pledged.

Delegates at the debate shared the view that the safe and effective universalisation of COVID-19 vaccines plays an important role in containing the pandemic’s spread and minimising economic, health and education losses.

Resolution 2532, adopted on July 1, 2020, supports a global ceasefire and calls for an immediate humanitarian pause for at least 90 consecutive days to allow humanitarian assistance to be delivered.

COVAX is one of three pillars of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, which was launched in April by the World Health Organization (WHO), the European Commission and France.

It is the only effort to ensure that people in all corners of the world will get access to COVID-19 vaccines, regardless of their wealth. — VNS

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