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World News

Anglican Primates call for international treaty on vaccine equity

by Donna Birrell

The Primates of the Anglican Communion are calling for an international treaty to improve equity in the distribution of vaccines and education to counter vaccine hesitancy around the globe. 

The Primates, who lead 41 Anglican provinces across the globe, have written to the World Health Assembly which meets next week asking it to be ‘bold and courageous’ in its plans for global health emergency preparedness and response.

At a meeting held virtually this week, Primates, Presiding Bishops and Moderators of the Churches of the Anglican Communion agreed a communique which reads :

“We are united in calling for greater vaccine equity, based on a spirit not of charity but of recognising the common good in resolving the current disparity. We call for generosity from those who have – towards those who have not - and for a greater acknowledgment of the effect of the pandemic on health and education.” 

In September the Anglican Communion joined calls for wealthy nations to share their surplus vaccine supplies to prevent the waste of millions of doses. It’s estimated that because vaccines have an expiry date of six months, 241 million doses will be wasted by the end of this year, unless they are redistributed to countries where there is a desperate shortage.

The Special Session of the World Health Assembly, which is the decision-making body of the World Health Organisation, meets from 29th November to 1st December.

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