UN launches new campaign, Only Together, to support global vaccine equity call

The United Nations today launched a new global campaign, Only Together, to support its call for fair and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines around the world.

The campaign stresses the need for coordinated global action to ensure vaccines are
accessible in all countries, starting with health-care workers and the most vulnerable.

“Over the past year, we’ve all missed out on doing the things we love to do with others—eating,
hugging, and going to school and work,” said UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed.

“Millions of us have lost someone we love or had our livelihoods taken away. An unprecedented global scientific effort for vaccines has given us hope to defeat the virus — but only if we work together to ensure everyone, everywhere has access to COVID-19 vaccines.
Only together can we end the pandemic and transform a new era of hope.”

More than 2.5 million people around the world have died from COVID-19, according to the
World Health Organization. The COVID-19 vaccines will stop people from dying, prevent new
variants from emerging, reignite economies and offer the best hope to end the pandemic.

The biggest vaccine roll out in history is now underway with millions of doses being delivered
around the world, including to some of the world’s poorest countries, through the efforts of
COVAX, the global vaccine equity mechanism.

But these doses will initially only cover a small segment of the populations — healthcare
workers and the most vulnerable. By the end of 2021, COVAX aims to offer vaccines to nearly
30 per cent of each participating country’s population. But that progress pales compared to
ten rich countries who possess nearly 80 per cent of all COVID-19 vaccines, with some
planning to vaccinate their entire population within the next few months.

COVAX, which is led by the World Health Organization, GAVI and the Coalition for Epidemic
Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), and in partnership with UNICEF, has 190 participating
countries. It needs more than US$2 billion to fully meet its goal to vaccinate those most in
need by the end of the year.

Pledging new funding for COVAX is critical, but more can be done to scale up vaccine access
by sharing excess vaccines, transferring technology, offering voluntary licensing or even
waiving intellectual property rights.

“If the world’s scientists were able to develop safe and effective vaccines in just seven
months, the aims of world’s leaders must be equally record-breaking — to provide enough
funding and to ramp up manufacturing to enable everyone on earth to be vaccinated,” said UN
Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications Melissa Fleming.

11 March 2021

New York