Delegate Name: Aayush Sule
World Health Organization
Vaccine Equity and Access
Republic of Colombia
Forest Hills Eastern High School
Vaccinations are dead versions of diseases taken by people to create immunity against said diseases without facing the risks. From smallpox vaccines in 1796 to COVID-19 vaccines in the modern-day, vaccines prevent 2-3 million deaths every year. The United Nations endorses health, and by extension, vaccines as a human right. This right, however, is in jeopardy for many individuals due to the lack of vaccine access for many. Wealth inequalities coupled with the effects of the pandemic have caused 23 million children to miss out on vital vaccinations in 2020 alone. Refugees and migrants are especially vulnerable due to being medically neglected in many nations. To combat this issue, the World Health Organization created the Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) as a vessel to deliver vaccines worldwide. Additionally, the Global Vaccine Action Plan, passed by the WHO in 2015, raised attention to inequities between countries in terms of vaccines. The World Health Organization must find a solution to protect this right.
While the Republic of Colombia has 66.68% of its population with at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, which is higher than the world average, Colombia needs help with getting other vaccines to everyone, especially the rural population. Colombia currently has a system in place where every citizen gets an ID number to keep track of each citizen’s vaccination status against various diseases. This is effective to keep track of vaccination data among citizens, but not migrants who have not received citizenship yet. Additionally, indigenous people are often faced with discrimination at medical facilities, and this extends to vaccines. Colombia has not done anything to combat this problem on a global scale, because Colombia is dealing with this problem as well.
Colombia believes that in order to solve this issue, the World Health Organization should create an organization tasked with creating a global database on the vaccination status of people considered to be in poverty. This database will then aid EPI and indicate which communities they should send vaccines to. This will allow the WHO to precisely pinpoint where action needs to be taken. Additionally, this will provide a valuable tool for international use in the future. This will require intensive international collaboration, but will only lead to a better tomorrow.