Mexico has proposed to the United Nations that vaccines developed to prevent COVID-19 be available to all, in a proposal that was supported by the international organization.
On Monday, the resolution that sought “equal access” to “future vaccines” against COVID-19 and underlined the “crucial leading role” of the World Health Organization which had been criticized by the United States, was passed by consensus of the 193 members of the UN General Assembly, according to the news agency AFP.
The text, which focuses on the health response, was proposed by Mexico and, with the support of Washington, asks to “reinforce international scientific cooperation to combat COVID-19 and intensify coordination,” including the private sector.
Marcelo Ebrard Casaubon, the Mexican Minster of Foreign Affairs, said that 179 countries (93% of the UN) supported the position held by Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador at the Extraordinary G20 Leaders’ Summit.
“This will guarantee that all countries have access to medicines, equipment, and vaccines, and will prevent material being concentrated in the hands of some,” said Ebrard in an announcement made on Tuesday.
This resolution insists that the goal must be to make vaccines “available to everyone who needs them, especially in developing countries.” It’s the second to be passed by the Assembly on coronavirus since the start of the pandemic at the beginning of the year.
The first was passed on April 3 to request international “cooperation” to better combat the disease.
Resolutions passed by the Assembly aren’t binding, but they can have significant political value depending on the context.
The Mexican text comes at a time when several laboratories have begun the search for a vaccine, which is crucial for neutralizing the disease and represents a significant financial challenge.
The resolution asks the UN Secretary General to guarantee that resources committed can “guarantee fair, transparent, equal, and effective access” to a future vaccine or medicine for combating COVID-19.
Progress towards a cure
At the end of March, dozens of laboratories were identified that are working on the development of vaccines against the new coronavirus, while resurging waves of contagion are predicted, says the Argentinian website of the newspaper El Economista.
Although these waves of contagion will be the process by means of which humanity could build up the necessary immunity, the publication explains the urgency of a vaccine.
Some estimate that people who are asymptomatic will infect those who are symptomatic. The article says that without a universally applied vaccine, a new lockdown period will be necessary to flatten the new curve of contagion and adjust it to health capacity.
In a piece published on April 13 by Spanish newspaper Diario Responsable, Professor Isabel Córdova compared the struggle against COVID-19 to a Third World War, putting health workers on the front line. She said that the vaccine which scientists are developing will be the holy grail for the final battle.
According to calculations by the AFP news agency based on official sources, the coronavirus has caused nearly 167,600 deaths as of Monday, April 20 since it appeared in China in December.