Carter Center urges U.S. to ensure equitable global vaccine distribution


While many rich nations, including the United States, have begun to vaccinate populations against COVID-19, even frontline workers in Africa must wait until April.
This is a moral challenge for the U.S., which has obligations under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, created after the global pain of World War II to enable all nations to prosper by guaranteeing basic human rights, including access to health care.
A year after the pandemic emerged, the U.S. is still absent from the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access Facility (COVAX), a coalition of 190 countries formed in April 2020 by the World Health Organization, GAVI (formerly the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization), and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) to share resources for vaccine development and distribution so all countries, regardless of income levels, would have equal access to the vaccines. Instead of receiving equitable distribution, developing countries have been relegated to the end of the vaccination line, a situation expected to be protracted, with an estimated two-thirds of the world’s population not getting a vaccine until 2022.