UN urges G7 to ensure COVID-19 vaccine access across low-income countries

Washington: Eight United Nations officials have called on the Group of Seven (G7) leading economies to ensure peoples across the developing world get full and equal access to coronavirus vaccines, the UN Office of the High Commissioner on Refugees (OHCR) said on Wednesday.

“UN human rights experts today called on leaders of the world’s largest economies to make sure people in the Global South get equal access to COVID-19 vaccines and not to allow the profit motive to undermine global health and equity,” the OHCR said in a news release.

UN Special Rapporteurs Olivier De Schutter, Tlaleng Mofokeng and Saad Alfarargi Business and Human Rights Working Group members, Surya Deva, Elzbieta Karska, Githu Muigai and Anita Ramasastry with independent expert Obiora Okafor made the call.

“Everyone has a right to have access to a vaccine for COVID-19 that is safe, effective, timely and based on the application of the best scientific development,” the United Nations officials said ahead of the G7 summit of leaders to be held in the United Kingdom on June 11-13.

The officials warned that billions of people in the Global South were being left behind and that they only saw vaccines as a mirage or a privilege for the developed world, a situation that would prolong the crisis and increase its death toll.