Japan Should Lead the Charge for Equitable Access to COVID-19 Vaccines

Dr Daisaku Higashi of Sophia University calls on Japan to play an increasing role in international health policy.
  • by Cecilia Russell (johannesburg, south africa)
  • Inter Press Service

The country should use the credibility gained after WWII as a country with expertise in peacebuilding to ensure that developing countries are included in vaccines ?? go out.

Higashi, a renowned commentator from Sophia University, warned that only an international effort could solve problems caused by COVID-19

Even if Japan does succeed in containing COVID-19 in one way or another, as long as the pandemic continues elsewhere in the world, there could still be a resurgence as soon as our border is opened to large numbers of people. foreign visitors, ?? he said. “The global economy as a whole will shrink if the global pandemic persists, damaging corporate profitability and jobs in Japan.

Since nearly half of Japan’s trading partners are developing countries, it is in Japan’s interest to contain the disease globally. Because the COVID-19 pandemic is a global threat that no country can fend off alone – it’s a human security issue, ?? Higashi said.

Higashi said all countries should be encouraged to join COVAX ?? a facility for the group purchasing of safe vaccines.

COVAX, which operates under the auspices of ACT Accelerator, which aims to accelerate the development and manufacture of COVID-19 vaccines and ensure fair and equitable access for all countries around the world.

Higashi hailed the Japanese government’s decision to join the facility and pledge up to $ 500 million in advance market contributions that will allow developing countries to access vaccines under the COVAX facility.

“This is really the time when Japan should play its role of ‘global facilitator’. promote dialogue for the development of global solutions for COVID-19 with Japan as the host country and with ideas from participating member states, international organizations, experts and NGOs, ?? he said.

Japan should use its influence to persuade the US, China and Russia, which are not participating in COVAX, to join them, Higashi said.

Takuma said that while several other global health issues resulted in international cooperation in health9 and infection control, it failed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Serious challenges arose because the spread of the coronavirus had far-reaching implications not only for health, but also for the global economy and the growing uncertainty brought about by poverty.

This has created more room, for better or for worse, for the politicization of the pandemic, ?? Said Takuma.

?? The US-China cooperation against SARS, the cooperation between the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United States against H1N1 influenza and the US leadership against AIDS and Ebola are some examples of good practices in international cooperation in the field of health, in particular the fight against infections? ? he said.

However, Trump, in the context of US-China tensions, criticized the WHO for being China-centric and failing to fulfill its basic responsibilities and withdrew from the WHO.

While President-elect Joe Biden has said he will return to the WHO, lingering concerns are that the international health body may remain underfunded and in need of reform.

As the history of the US initiative to found the WHO and its leadership in global health shows, the loss of the US withdrawal will not be felt only in terms of funding. There is also a wide range of other areas (which will be affected), including human talent, drugs, and America’s position in the world, ?? Said Takuma. He reminded the public that US contributions represented 12% of the WHO budget.

He said China is playing an increasing role in promoting global health through its Belt and Road initiative. However, the realities are that “even though China promotes its diplomacy on vaccines and masks, it is not close to replacing the United States in terms of funding or the ability to supply drugs, like This is evidenced by the lack of confidence in the quality of China. s vaccines and masks. ??

Other calls have also been made for WHO reform – Germany and France wanting to strengthen WHO’s authority in initial responses to health crises.

Takuma, like Higashi, called on Japan to actively promote COVAX and other frameworks for equitable vaccine distribution around the world.

The country could strengthen its cooperation with the United States and China as Japan maintains good relations with the two countries and focuses on cooperation with Asian countries through initiatives such as the ASEAN Center for Diseases infectious, ?? he concludes.

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© Inter Press Service (2020) – All rights reservedOriginal source: Inter Press Service

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