Nobel Laurates, global leaders, join the universal call to provide free access to Covid-19 vaccine

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on June 29, 2020

The list includes business leaders including Ratan Tata, Azim Premji and Narayana Murthy

Over 100 global leaders have signed a global call by Yunus Centre to declare Covid-19 vaccine a common good and provide free access to vaccines across the globe.

The initiative by Dhaka-based Yunus Center, founded by the Nobel Peace Prize winner Mohammad Yunus to provide global access to Covid-19 vaccines is backed by 105 World Leaders including 18 Nobel Laureates, 32 former Chief of State and Governments, Political Leaders, Artistes, International NGOs and Institutions according to the official press release.

The list includes the founder of the Yunus Centre Muhammad Yunus along with major Indian industrialists including Ratan Tata Former Chairman of Tata Sons and Tata Group, Azim Premji Chairman, Wipro Limited and Narayana Murthy Co-Founder, Infosys according to the official release.

It is also supported by Desmond Tutu, Mikhail Gorbachev, Malala Yousafzai, Bono, Richard Branson, Lech Walesa, Jody Williams, Mahathir Mohamad, Lula, George Clooney, Sharon Stone, Forest Whitaker, Leymah Gbowee, Mary Robinson, Tawakkol Karman, Shabana Azmi, Anne Hidalgo, Thomas Bach, Andrea Bocelli and other World Leaders.

The appeal signed by the global leaders states that the pandemic has put forth the weaknesses of global healthcare systems with further emphasis on the obstacles and inequities in gaining access to healthcare.

“We appeal to governments, foundations, philanthropists and social businesses to come forward to produce and/or distribute the vaccines all over the world for free. We invite all social, political, and health entities to re-affirm our collective responsibility for the protection of ALL vulnerable persons without any discrimination whatsoever,” the letter reads.

The appeal calls upon all world leaders including the “Secretary-General of the United Nations, Director-General of the World Health Organization, religious leaders, social and moral leaders, leaders of research laboratories and pharmaceutical companies and the media” to come together and ensure access to a Covid-19 vaccine when deployed by declaring it a “common good.”

The Covid-19 pandemic has infected over 10 million people across the globe with the death toll surpassing half a million on Monday according to reports. Currently, there are at least 12 vaccines across the world in various phases of human trials.

An experimental vaccine candidate by AstraZeneca built in collaboration with the University of Oxford is currently a primary frontrunner in the vaccine race, the World Health Organization had said last week. The vaccine last week had entered the last stage of human trials.

Published on June 29, 2020

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