Bangladesh has underscored the need to make the Covid-19 vaccines available and affordable.
Also, it has called for distributing the vaccines equitably to all countries that need it most. A fair equity principle is needed to ensure this, Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations Rabab Fatima said.
Although the development of different vaccine candidates is very encouraging, Ambassador Fatima maintained, strong global commitment and collaboration to treat Covid-19 vaccine as a "global public good" is essential.
She said this on Wednesday at an online conversation co-hosted by United Kingdom Minister of State for the Commonwealth and the United Nations Lord Tariq Ahmad and United Nations Foundation President and CEO Ambassador Elizabeth Cousens.
The meeting "Towards an equitable framework for the research, development and delivery of Covid-19 vaccines" was briefed by World Health Organization (WHO) Immunization, Vaccines, and Biologicals Director Kate O'Brien and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, Managing Director Marie-Ange Saraka-Yao.
The Covid-19 pandemic is a stark reminder that the world is interconnected and the international community have a stake in addressing this global public health challenge together, Ambassador Fatima said.
If we want to prevent a recurrence, "we need to prepare, prevent and recover together, with effective global outreach."
The ambassador also expressed the hope that the third phase of the vaccine trial which is expected to start in August will be successful in developing an effective and safe vaccine.
She also reiterated Bangladesh's support to ACT Accelerator and COVAX Facility initiatives undertaken by the WHO, Gavi and other private sector partners.
Two billion doses of vaccines are estimated to be needed globally by the end of 2021, reads a press release.
Highlighting the presence of a well-developed pharmaceutical industry in Bangladesh, Ambassador Fatima said, "After meeting our large domestic demands, these companies are exporting medicines to 145 countries, including the regulated markets of the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Singapore and other OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries."
Ambassador Fatima also said Bangladeshi pharmaceutical companies will be able to produce Covid-19 vaccines for global distribution if intellectual property rights are waived and necessary technology is shared.
Meanwhile, the briefers discussed how to mobilise political and financial investment in equitable approaches to Covid-19, including ACT Accelerator for therapeutics and COVAX Facility for global pooling and risk-sharing.
WHO and Gavi will start working to find out modalities for procurement and incentivising differential market access for high and low-and middle-income countries, they said.
Lord Tariq reiterated the commitment of the British government to the equitable distribution of vaccines and treatment of Covid-19 for people around the world and namely for the ones of South Asia.