El desafío de la inmunización frente a la COVID-19

The Challenge of Immunisation against COVID-19

30.4.2020

We have heard it so many times in recent weeks that by now it seems obvious: we will not finally overcome this crisis caused by COVID-19 until we have an effective vaccine for everybody. Most readers of this blog are part of the scientific community that is on the front line in responding to global health threats of this kind, and reminders of this kind might seem superfluous. The good news is that it is now as obvious to governments and to the European Union (EU) itself as it is to you. To the point where a summit has been called for this Monday 4th May to join economic, coordination and scientific forces to meet this challenge.

A summit has been called for this Monday 4th May to join economic, coordination and scientific forces to meet the challenge of having an effective vaccine for everybody

It is a challenge of a triple nature: not only a matter of speeding up scientific progress to develop the vaccine as quickly as possible, but also of ensuring access to it for all the populations who need it, and finally of financing the whole process amid the brutal economic and social impact of the pandemic.

No country can cope with it alone, and even if it could the COVID-19 threat will not fade until immunisation against it reaches the whole planet. We are well aware, for example, that having an effective vaccine does not stop over 800,000 children under 5 dying of pneumonia every year.

For this reason, the EU has called on all its member states to attend a summit committing them to financing the two international tools that are catalysing efforts to meet the challenge: the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance.

The EU has called on all its member states to attend a summit committing them to financing the two international tools that are catalysing efforts to meet the challenge: the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance

These are alliances between public, private, philanthropic and civil society organisations to mobilise economic, scientific, industrial and logistical resources. CEPI finances development through the most promising projects, putting in place mechanisms for coordination between all the parties involved in order to speed up development, testing and procurement of the vaccines, and fixing their pricing conditions. Gavi, on the other hand, deals with the purchase and fair distribution of the vaccine in middle to low-income countries to ensure a favourable, affordable price.

ISGlobal considers that Spain has the opportunity to join the group of countries leading the global search for a vaccine and a response to the crisis caused by COVID-19. To seize this opportunity, it must make commitments in three main areas: helping to finance development and distribution of the vaccine; playing an active part in the multilateral decision-making process; and giving the Cooperación Española network the tools and resources it needs to take an active role in responding to the epidemic.

ISGlobal considers that Spain has the opportunity to join the group of countries leading the global search for a vaccine and a response to the crisis caused by COVID-19

Sadly, until the richest countries in the world found ourselves at the centre of a pandemic, governments and public opinion did not see the obvious importance of issues where ISGlobal has spent years generating scientific evidence and passing it on to those who take decisions to make the world a safer place. Once we overcome this crisis, one of the lessons that must last is the need to listen to science as a key factor in preventing and confronting threats to global security, now and in the future.

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'COVID-19, the Challenge of Immunisation and Spain's Contribution Report'

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