PAHO supports Mexico’s call to avoid hoarding of covid vaccines

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) He supported the call made by Mexico to prevent the hoarding of covid-19 vaccines and proposed creating a permanent mechanism for countries to donate and sell biologicals at affordable prices, in addition to transferring technology to nations.

After the Secretary of Foreign Relations (SRE), Marcelo Ebrard, reiterated before the UN Security Council the demand to avoid hoarding because the Covax mechanism is insufficient, the deputy director of PAHO, Jarbas Barbosa, considered that Mexico’s initiative should be supported by other countries and be a cause for reflection, for global commitments to face this and other possible epidemics.

“The initiative of Mexico is very important, I think other countries should support it, because in truth there is no mechanism, or there was no established mechanism to guarantee equitable access to Personal Protective Equipment, PCR diagnostic tests and now to vaccines and medicines ”.

For Jarbas Barbosa, the response to the health emergency caused by covid-19 should be seen as a “failure in the preparation of the world to face a pandemic” and recalled that during 2011 the World Health Assembly approved the Preparedness Plan for a Pandemic of Influenza.

It is a response policy in which “it is guaranteed, in the event of an influenza pandemic, that vaccine producers have to donate an amount, they have to sell another quantity at affordable prices or they have to transfer technology because influenza vaccines, and all the other vaccines in the world, are produced with our data, with viruses from the public health surveillance laboratories that the ministries of health of the different countries ”.

He clarified that this agreement was reached for an eventual influenza pandemic does not apply to other emergencies such as covid-19, “now, I think it is time to reflect in the world on having a mechanism like permanent Covax with rules and with sufficient funds to make all the agreements with the producers and guarantee equitable access ”.

« What about Covax? It is a novel, innovative mechanism and when Covax put together for months to request donations, to convince countries, it took several months and during those months, unfortunately, as there are no rules, producers began to make arrangements with countries that had economic resources to do so.

“I think the call from Mexico is undoubtedly important. PAHO. he has always argued that international solidarity and coordination are the best answer we have. It will be very important to make this reflection to respond to other epidemics through permanent mechanisms, with transparent rules, with sufficient funds so that all countries have equitable access to vaccines to respond to public health emergencies ”.

The Director of PAHO, Carissa F. Etienne, made it clear that « no one is safe until we are all safe » and made it clear that vaccination will not prevent further transmission of the virus.

It is estimated that to achieve control of transmission, 70 or up to 90 percent of the population must be vaccinated, in addition, some of the vaccines will only prevent deaths, but will not prevent disease. Therefore, he added that it is It is necessary for the richest countries not to monopolize because they will only have security until the rest of the population also have vaccines and medicines.