PACE has approved a wide-ranging report making a series of ethical, legal and practical recommendations for the safe and fair worldwide deployment of vaccines against COVID-19, avoiding “vaccine nationalism” and encouraging their uptake in the face of “vaccine hesitancy”.
115 MEPs backed the document focusing on ethical, legal, and practical aspects of the vaccine deployment.
The new vaccines should be a “global public good”, and “immunisation must be available to everyone, everywhere”, the Assembly said in a resolution based on a report by Jennifer De Temmerman, following a plenary debate today.
The parliamentarians urged, in particular, that all countries should be able to vaccinate their health-care workers and vulnerable groups before vaccination was rolled out to non-risk groups, suggesting that member States and the EU should therefore give priority to countries where this had not yet been possible.
“Vaccine equity is not just a moral imperative. Ending this pandemic depends upon it”, - said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the WHO, who took part in the debate remotely. He pointed out that 75% of doses delivered so far had been deployed in only ten countries, adding: “A me-first approach leaves the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people at risk. It is also self-defeating. These actions will only prolong the pandemic”.