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Enhancing UK action and promoting equity of access to global COVID-19 vaccines

The Faculty of Public Health has produced a statement urging further action from the UK Government to ensure global access to COVID-19 vaccination.

Endorsed by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, the statement says that whilst commitments from the G7 to share surplus doses are welcome, the UK should go further to ensure global vaccine equity.

We call on the UK Government to 

  1. Release 30% of its pre-purchased COVID-19 vaccine orders to countries least able to secure supply

  2. Invest in and support scaling up local manufacturing capacity, including in low and middle- income countries to boost vaccine supply

  3. Support health system strengthening to ensure countries can cope with vaccine roll-out

The full statement is available to read online here.

FPH President Professor Maggie Rae said “Whilst it is right that we should celebrate the progress the UK has made on our COVID-19 vaccination programme, we must use our resources and expertise to support global access to vaccination.

We are a globally interdependent society, and cannot tackle COVID-19 in isolation. Without equitable access to vaccine for all countries, we will continue to face the severe health and economic costs of the virus.

I thank the Chair of our Global Health Committee Professor Neil Squires and the PH Specialty Registrars who helped produce this statement. I also thank Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard and the Presidents of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges for supporting this important message.”

Chair of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard said ‘We should all be incredibly proud that the UK has led the way in vaccine development and roll-out. We have done a remarkable job in protecting the most vulnerable in our society, far ahead of the vast majority of countries.

Now though, as this statement makes clear, it is time to turn our attention to helping people in countries not as fortunate as we are. This is not a big ask, it’s entirely achievable, it will not put any of our own citizens at risk and frankly it’s just the right thing to do.’

Published 26 April 2021

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