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 27/02/2021 Tlaxcala, the international network of translators for linguistic diversity Tlaxcala's Manifesto  
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EUROPE / Covid-19 vaccines: ethical, legal and practical considerations
Resolution by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe
Date of publication at Tlaxcala: 30/01/2021
Translations available: Français  Italiano 

Covid-19 vaccines: ethical, legal and practical considerations
Resolution by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe

Various Authors - Autores varios - Auteurs divers- AAVV-d.a.

 

Following resolution was adopted on 26 January 2021 by the Assembly

http://tlaxcala-int.org/upload/gal_24091.jpg

A-Draft Resolution

1-The pandemic of Covid-19, an infectious disease caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, has caused much suffering in 2020. By December, more than 65 million cases had been recorded worldwide and more than 1.5 million lives had been lost. The disease burden of the pandemic itself, as well as the public health measures required to combat it, have devastated the global economy, laying bare pre-existing fault-lines and inequalities (including in access to health care), and causing unemployment, economic decline and poverty.
 
2-Rapid deployment worldwide of safe and efficient vaccines against Covid-19 will be essential in order to contain the pandemic, protect health-care systems, save lives and help restore global economies. Although non-pharmaceutical interventions such as physical distancing, the use of facemasks, frequent hand washing, as well as shutdowns and lockdowns, have helped slow down the spread of the virus, infection rates are now rising again across most of the globe. Many Council of Europe member States are experiencing a second wave which is worse than the first, while their populations are increasingly experiencing “pandemic fatigue” and are feeling demotivated about following recommended behaviours to protect themselves and others from the virus.
 
3-Even rapidly deployed, safe and effective vaccines, however, are not an immediate panacea. Following the festive season at the end of the year 2020 and the beginning of 2021, with its traditional indoor gatherings, infection rates will likely be very high in most member States. In addition, a correlation has just been scientifically established by French doctors between outdoor temperatures and the disease incidence rate on hospitalisations and deaths. The vaccines will no doubt not be sufficient to bring down infection rates significantly this winter – in particular when taking into account that demand far outstrips supply at this point. A semblance of “normal life” will thus not be able to resume even in the best of circumstances until mid to late 2021 at the earliest.

4-
For the vaccines to be effective, their successful deployment and sufficient uptake will be crucial. However, the speed at which the vaccines are being developed may pose a difficult to combat challenge to building up trust in them. An equitable deployment of Covid-19 vaccines is also needed to ensure the efficacy of the vaccine. If not widely enough distributed in a severely hit area of a country, vaccines become ineffective at stemming the tide of the pandemic. Furthermore, the virus knows no borders and it is therefore in every country’s interest to co-operate on ensuring global equity in access to Covid-19 vaccines. Vaccine hesitancy and vaccine nationalism have the capacity to derail the so-far surprisingly fast and successful Covid-19 vaccine effort, by allowing the SARS-CoV-2 virus to mutate and thus blunt the world’s most effective instrument against the pandemic so far.
 
5-International co-operation is thus needed now more than ever in order to speed up the development, manufacturing and fair and equitable distribution of Covid-19 vaccines. The Covid-19 Vaccine Allocation Plan, also known as COVAX, is the leading initiative for global vaccine allocation. Co-led by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Vaccine Alliance (Gavi) and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), the initiative pulls funding from subscribing countries to support the research, development and manufacturing of a wide range of Covid-19 vaccines and negotiate their pricing. Adequate vaccine management and supply chain logistics, which require international co-operation and preparations by member States, will also be needed in order to deliver the vaccines against the virus in a safe and equitable way. In this regard, the Parliamentary Assembly draws attention to guidance for countries on programme preparedness, implementation and country-level decision-making developed by WHO.
 
6- Member States must already now prepare their immunisation strategies to allocate doses in an ethical and equitable way, including deciding on which population groups to prioritise in the initial stages when supply is short, and how to expand vaccination as availability of one or more Covid-19 vaccines improves. Bioethicists and economists largely agree that persons over 65 years old and persons under 65 with underlying health conditions putting them at a higher risk of severe illness and death, health-care workers (especially those who work closely with persons who are in high-risk groups), and people who work in essential critical infrastructure should be given priority vaccination access. Children, pregnant women and nursing mothers, for whom no vaccine has so far been authorised, should not be forgotten.
 




Courtesy of Council of Europe
Source: c/en/files/28925/compendium
Publication date of original article: 26/01/2021
URL of this page : http://www.tlaxcala-int.org/article.asp?reference=30666

 

Tags: Coronavirus crisisCovid-19 vaccinesLockdownCouncil of Europe Parliamentary AssemblyUEropeVaccination passports
 

 
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