September 16, 2019
 In 2021-Vaccine Equity and Access

Country: Germany
Delegate Name: Aubrey Winczewski

Vaccines are important to ensuring the health safety of communities by preventing the spread of infectious disease and viruses. Immunizations have prevented 2-3 million deaths each year from 20 deadly diseases. The United Nations (UN) recognizes vaccines as an indisputable human right as written in Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Since 1974, the World Health Organization has been dedicated to the fair and equal distribution of global vaccines through the Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI), which has become the UN’s primary method for global vaccine distribution. Even with equitable distribution goals in mind however, there have been increasing inequities between UN Member States receiving vaccines because of the greater financial burdens of new vaccines. This has been clearly seen with the distribution of the vaccines against the COVID-19 virus that has caused an ongoing global pandemic. Wealthier countries have been able to supply booster shots (a second or third dose of the vaccine) to their citizens, while poorer countries may not have twenty citizens even partially vaccinated. It is imperative that the United Nations address these inequities in order to uphold people’s right to receive vaccines and be healthy. Additionally, with how mobile our world is, all corners of the globe need access to vaccines in order to stop the spread of viruses like COVID-19 while allowing people to travel freely.

Germany is one of the wealthier countries, and has been able to fully vaccinate 74.7% of its adult population (age 18 and up) as of late September 2021. With that success, Germany also acknowledges that “no one is safe, unless everyone is safe”, meaning all countries need the vaccine in order to truly end the pandemic. Germany is a key country in COVAX, which aims to accelerate the development and manufacture of COVID-19 vaccines, and guarantee fair and equitable access for every country in the world. COVAX is offering doses for at least 20% of countries’ populations. Germany has donated over 59 million vaccines to COVAX and is the second-largest donor worldwide. Including but not limited to COVAX, Germany plans to donate at least 175 million vaccines to newly industrialized and developing countries. In addition, Germany and the European Union are working to promote vaccine production, particularly in Africa, in order to secure long-term healthcare. Germany is also contributing 100 million euros for a “humanitarian buffer”, from which vaccines are to be supplied for people such as refugees, who are not covered by national vaccination plans.

Germany urges additional economically advantaged countries to support and donate vaccines to COVAX in order to help the 92 low-income nations seeking assistance. Furthermore, Germany looks for a resolution enabling vaccine distribution and access for all countries, as well as helping developing countries to produce vaccines themselves. In order for everyone to be safe from COVID-19, all countries must have an available vaccine for their citizens.

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