World, Health, Latest on coronavirus outbreak

UNGA president calls for 'fair access’ to virus vaccine

Vaccine's potency depends on vaccination of large segments globally, says Volkan Bozkir

Beyza Binnur Dönmez   | 03.12.2020
UNGA president calls for 'fair access’ to virus vaccine


The Turkish president of the 75th UN General Assembly said Thursday that "fair access" to a coronavirus vaccine is vital, during opening remarks at a COVID-19 summit.

Volkan Bozkir emphasized the effectiveness of the vaccine depends on the vaccination of large segments of the globe.

"First, we must start with ensuring fair and equitable access to the vaccine. Providing everyone with access to COVID-19 vaccines is both the right thing to do and the smart thing to do. From a moral standpoint, we have an obligation to leave no one behind and protect the most vulnerable," said Bozkir. "From a practical standpoint, the value of any vaccine is entirely dependent on how many people can get it. So, we must strengthen political and resource mobilization for multilateral initiatives that aim toward the fair and equitable distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine." 

Mentioning the pandemic's effect on the economy, he said the world is facing the "deepest" global economic recession since the Great Depression in the late 1920s and early 1930s and the biggest loss of income since 1870.

"The world economy has shrunk by 4.4%. Global extreme poverty is expected to rise for the first time in over 20 years. Up to 115 million people are at risk of being pushed into extreme poverty," Bozkir said.

He said the world is looking to the UN for leadership in addressing the coronavirus and the UN is obliged to fulfill the task.

More than 100 world leaders and high-ranking officials gathered for the two-day special session to discuss a global response to the pandemic. 

The world is getting closer to a coronavirus vaccine as candidates by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna are pending approval in the US and Europe with 95% and 94.1% efficiency, respectively.

More than 64.4 million infections and nearly 1.5 million fatalities have been recorded globally, according to a running tally by US-based Johns Hopkins University.

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