Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who served as Liberia’s first woman president in Africa and Nobel Prize winner, cautions on the effects of not distributing the COVID vaccine to all countries as a ‘global good’ could lead to mass migration, disunity and conflict among nations. She said this in an interview with Sky news
A vaccine once developed would face the same kind of fierce state competition already seen for vital resources need to cope with the Coronavirus pandemic.
The Nobel Prize winner spoke about the race for protective clothing, health facilities and other items needed during the pandemic and how they have led to global unrest and races.
She made the announcement soon after being appointed by the World Health Organisation s co-chair of an independent panel to examine the global response to the coronavirus as a crisis.
“There’s competition for all that’s required to address COVID-19 and only those that have the resources can access it very quickly to be able to meet their needs.
“As we develop a vaccine we will face the same kind of competition if action is not taken to address that.”
“We want to see vaccine as a global good. Something that should be available to all countries, rich or poor, because they too are entitled to life and they are not responsible for something like a virus that’s attacked them, something for which they have no control.
“Can we get that? A lot of advocacy will have to be done. A lot of discussion.”
Ms Sirleaf also called for African scientists to be involved in the global effort to find a vaccine, enabling them to share their knowledge and also learn from others.
She said that at the end of the day, if the vaccine is not made available to all as a global good, once again you have countries that will face pandemics, that will find that they are unable to cope.
But what happens to them will lead again to the movement across borders, much more disunity in the world, more conflict, poor nations. That’s a challenge.
Source: Ellen Johnson Sirleaf