As the country works towards securing vaccines for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) is stressing that the distribution of these vaccines must be made equitable and accessible to everyone.
CHR Commissioner Gwen Pimentel-Gana said in a statement that the mass roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccines must be immediately accessible and affordable so as to finally solve the COVID-19 pandemic.
Developed countries such as the United States and United Kingdom and their pharmaceutical companies – Pfizer, Moderna, and Astra Zeneca – have already announced their success with the vaccines against the COVID-19 pandemic, which are now awaiting final stage trials.
Pimentel-Gana emphasized that the preservation of life is a fundamental human right, so global leaders must address the distribution with “ethical solutions” that reflect the principles of human rights, universality, and equity. These are the core values of the World Health Organization and the United Nations.
Pimentel-Gana said that every human being must be given the vaccine regardless of their race, religion, political belief, economic or social condition. While developed countries will undoubtedly prioritize vaccinating their citizens, the CHR said that they should also keep in mind that less-developed countries also need their help.
“It is thus the responsibility of the developed nations to exert equal efforts and focus in distributing and sharing the COVID-19 vaccines to other countries, as they would to their own people,” she said.
Pimentel-Gana said that the vaccines must be affordable to everyone in every country, so that the targeted herd immunity would not be limited to the population of a particular country but to the rest of the global population.
“Everyone, as a member of society, has the fundamental human right to social security, the protection of their health, and preservation of life through international cooperation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State,” she said.