Guillermo Lasso and other Latin American leaders ask for equitable access to vaccines against COVID-19
The “first objective” of the new Government of Ecuador is to achieve mass vaccination against COVID-19, mentioned the new president Guillermo Lasso, who on the same day of his inauguration has asked the international community, along with six other leaders of Latin America and the Caribbean, an equitable distribution of vaccines, as they consider that it is the only option to overcome the pandemic.
“We make a vehement call to those countries that have excess doses or that have already vaccinated their population at risk to implement measures so that these surpluses are distributed equitably and immediately,” says the statement that was released by the President of Costa Rica, Carlos Alvarado.
The request is also signed by Alberto Fernández, president of Argentina; Andrés Manuel López Obrador, President of Mexico; Andrew Michael Holness, Prime Minister of Jamaica; Luis Alberto Arce, president of Bolivia; Guillermo Lasso Mendoza , President of Ecuador, and Luis Alberto Lacalle Pou, President of Uruguay.
“We note with grave concern that, of the 1.3 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines that have been administered globally, more than half were used in five countries that account for 50% of global GDP; some countries have even administered more doses than the whole of Africa and South America. In total, low-income countries have received only 0.3% of the world’s doses, ”says the president’s pronouncement.
“The new and more dangerous variants of the COVID-19 virus show that vaccination isolated by country is an ineffective strategy to end the acute stage of the pandemic,” they added.
For this reason, the Latin American and Caribbean leaders emphasized the need to “overcome the challenges generated by bilateral negotiations, the lack of unified bargaining power in the face of acquisition processes, export restrictions and intellectual property rights that limit in a critical way the arrival of vaccines to all countries ”.