Global leaders have signed a call initiated by the Yunus Centre to declare Covid-19 vaccines as a global common good as the effectiveness of the upcoming vaccination campaign will depend on its universality.
A total of 105 world leaders including 18 Nobel laureates, 32 former heads of state and government, political leaders, artistes, international NGOs and institutions signed the appeal, said a press release from the Yunus Centre on Sunday.
Muhammad Yunus, Desmond Tutu, Mikhail Gorbachev, Malala Yousafzai, Bono, Richard Branson, Lech Walesa, Jody Williams, Mahathir Mohamad, Lula, George Clooney, Sharon Stone, Forest Whitaker, Leymah Gbowee, Mary Robinson, Tawakkol Karman, Ratan Tata, Azim Premji, Shabana Azmi, Anne Hidalgo, Thomas Bach, and Andrea Bocelli were among the signatories.
The appeal says a pandemic clearly exposes the strengths and weaknesses of healthcare system in every country and highlights the obstacles and inequities in gaining access to healthcare.
"We appeal to governments, foundations, philanthropists and social businesses to come forward to produce and/or distribute the vaccines all over the world for free," reads the appeal.
The signatories invited all social, political, and health entities to re-affirm our collective responsibility for the protection of all vulnerable people without any discrimination whatsoever.
"We are pleading to all world leaders including the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Director General of the World Health Organization, religious leaders, social and moral leaders, leaders of research laboratories and pharmaceutical companies and the media to join hands and ensure that in the case of a COVID-19 vaccine, we have a global consensus that it must be deployed as a global common good," the appeal added.
The appeal also invited everyone to join the pledge at vaccinecommongood.org.