March 8, 2021
The annual Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) kicked off over the weekend with longtime HIV activists Gregg Gonsalves and Fatima Hassan calling on scientists and researchers to take action on global access to COVID-19 vaccines. AVAC has been tracking this issue, will continue to provide updates and has produced some new access resources for advocates. Read on for details!
The recording of the full talk—Vaccine Nationalism is Killing us: How Inequities in Research and Access to SARS-CoV-2 Will Perpetuate the Pandemic—is limited to those registered for CROI, but you can listen to a preview from Sunday’s Daily Research Update. Gregg highlighted how growing access inequality—both between high- and low-income countries and within countries based on existing health disparities—threatens to undermine the promise of highly protective vaccines. Calling global access a ‘moral and epidemiological imperative’ he called on the HIV community to support vaccine equity and an end to vaccine apartheid.
AVAC stands with advocates worldwide, including MSF Access Campaign, Health GAP and Oxfam, in demanding transparency, funding and priorities that put people over profits, to help ensure everyone, regardless of where they live, has access to COVID-19 vaccines. AVAC has developed (and updated) several resources to help in that effort:
- NEW: COVID-19 Vaccine Cheat Sheet: Access Edition profiles authorized vaccines with an emphasis on the “3 C’s” that have a significant impact on equitable access: cost, cold chain and manufacturing capacity.
- NEW: The COVID Vax Tracker provides weekly updates on COVID-19 vaccine trials worldwide. The downloadable tracker provides data on trial location, recruitment status, participant totals, inclusion criteria and more.
- The updated COVID-19 Vaccine Cheat Sheet provides an overview of authorized vaccines and candidates in late-stage clinical trials.
- The Advocate’s Guide To COVID-19 Vaccine Access provides plain-language explanations of the necessary components for equitable access to help inform and support advocates.
The task of vaccinating billions of people represents an unprecedented financial, logistical and operational challenge. However, the importance of doing so is crystal clear—as recent models have shown, equitable distribution of an 80 percent efficacious vaccine could prevent nearly twice as many deaths as distribution based on country income levels.
We look forward to hearing your feedback on these resources and collaborating to make equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines a reality.