Sun. May 16th, 2021

Over 100 global leaders, including 18 Nobel winners declared COVID-19 vaccines a global common good.

PORVO, PORVO, FINLAND, April 23, 2021 / — Over 100 global leaders, including 18 Nobel winners, have appealed to declare COVID-19 vaccines a global common good so that the vaccines can be produced and distributed for free, The Economic Times reports referring to the Yunus Centre.

The notable signatories include Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, US actors and social activists Matt Damon, George Clooney, Forest Whitaker, and Sharon Stone.

The pandemic is clearly exposing the strength and weaknesses of healthcare systems in every country and highlights the obstacles and inequities in gaining access to healthcare. The effectiveness of the upcoming vaccination campaign will depend on its universality, it said.

The appeal was addressed to the President of the United States Joe Biden as many experts globally are quite concerned by the policies of the USA during the pandemic starting from the actions of Trump’s administrations claiming “America First” even when the new global challenge started testing medical and social systems and destroying economies around the world.

”Given that the USA dominates the global politics, many were hoping that aside for trying to impose its values and democratic systems all over the world, it would come to rescue its partners and weaker states providing vaccines, humanitarian aid and solutions for the disease that has taken millions of lives, closed, millions of businesses and locked the world down, probably forever changing the way we interact,” – says Dr Johan Beckman, legal sociologist and a human right activist from Finland. “Pragmatic policies that implied isolation from its partners and lobbying its pharmaceutical companies resulted in a certain increase in anti-American sentiment, panic of small powers not receiving vaccine in the required amount and a change in America’s image from a “global savior” to a “global policeman”.

The pandemic turned out to be very unpleasant and painful for the global economy. In addition, it initiated the “vaccine race” and associated information war. Washington and London effectively sabotaged all agreements on the COVAX system, which provides for the distribution of vaccines to countries that cannot produce them on their own.

The global leaders who joined the appeal for free distribution of vaccines highlight the fact that the less evenly the vaccines are distributed, the longer the world will live in conditions of closed borders and suffer from an economic recession. Yet, the attempts of India, China and especially Russia to provide vaccines and deploy its production globally face lots of resistance in the media.

“The administrations change, yet the policies remain the same for Donald Trump and Joe Biden despite of their rivalry. We do hope though that the vaccine policies can be changed at the global level in order to focus on the common good, not selfish interests of the states,” – concludes Dr Johan Backman.

Erkki Johan Bäckman (born 18 May 1971) is a Finnish political activist, author and legal sociologist.

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