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Coronavirus vaccines available to all as Pakistan joins UN campaign

Pakistan joined a new United Nations public advocacy campaign — Only Together, which calls for coronavirus vaccines to be available.

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Pakistan joined a new United Nations public advocacy campaign — ‘Only Together’, which calls for coronavirus vaccines to be available to everyone and everywhere in order to stop the deadly pandemic in its tracks.

“This year of crisis has caused a tidal wave of suffering,” Secretary-General said in a video message while launching the campaign on Thursday.

The virus has killed more than 2.5 million people, and left millions more with debilitating long-term health effects over the last one year, adversely affecting families and economies.

“Now, with the promise of vaccines, we can see light at the end of the tunnel,” the UN chief said, emphasizing that the vaccines must be considered a global public good.

Read more: Pakistan has not signed any agreement with India for vaccine: FO

In a tweet, Pakistan’s UN Ambassador Munir Akram said he was joining UN in calling for ensuring equitable access and distribution of the coronavirus vaccine, saying it was “vital” to control the pandemic for quick recovery of the virus-hit world economy.

“We must fully support the COVAX Facility for vaccine distribution by funding the $20 billion shortfall as soon as possible,” Ambassador Akram, who is also the president of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) said.

The Pakistan envoy also called for ensuring that all of UN peacekeepers receive the Covid vaccine “quickly and equitably”. Pakistan is one of the largest contributors to the flagship UN peacekeeping operations around the world.

“Only Together, we can achieve a safer and prosperous future,” Ambassador Akram added.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan Mission to the United Nations developed flash cards to promote the UN campaign in Urdu in collaboration with the UN Department of Global Communications — the first time it has been done.

In his remarks, the UN chief also regretted that so far only a small number of rich countries were rolling out a majority of the doses, for which scientists had worked wonders in developing safe and effective vaccines in record time.

“No country can overcome this crisis in isolation,” the secretary-general said.

Governments and businesses, he said, must share doses and technology so supply goes further, and distribution goes faster.

Read more: Pakistan to get 17.2mn doses of COVID-19 vaccine, confirms Covax

“COVAX, the global vaccine initiative, is our best way to do just that,” he said.

Only together can we protect healthcare workers and the world’s most vulnerable people. Only together can we revive our economies. Only together can we end this pandemic and recover.

“And then, together, we can all get back to the things we love,” the UN chief added.

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