In one sense Corona virus is not new
As the latest virus outbreak extends around the globe, it is reassuring to learn that many labs are accelerating efforts to develop a vaccine. However, for any vaccine to be effective, it needs to be distributed widely and equitably. Sadly, this is not the case for vaccines against some of the deadliest diseases of childhood. Children in the poorest countries receive new vaccines up to a decade later than children in the richest countries.
To address this inequity, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation has been implementing an innovative marketing mechanism to ensure a stable flow of critical vaccines to underserved areas. This has been successful - since its inception in 2000, the GAVI Alliance has prevented 13 million deaths. Canada should continue its support of GAVI with a renewed pledge of $600 million over five years. While Covid-19 makes headlines and attracts the world’s attention and resources, we cannot forget the millions of children who continue to die needlessly because they cannot access vaccines that already exist.