Vaccine issue has taken dire turn, nearly 100 countries have no access to COVID-19 vaccine yet, says President Erdogan
Turkey plans to offer its domestic vaccine to all humanity under the most appropriate conditions when the work on the vaccine is completed, the nation’s president said on Tuesday.
The vaccine issue has taken a dire turn, nearly 100 countries have no access to the COVID-19 vaccine yet, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in his video message, addressing the meeting of Financing for Development in the Era of COVID-19 and Beyond held by the UN with the participation of heads of state and government.
The COVID-19 outbreak has once again revealed the distortions in the global system that we have expressed on almost every platform, he underlined.
Referring to the unfairness on the access to the vaccine, Erdogan said the injustice, becoming more evident during the pandemic, has taken a much dire turn with the issue of vaccination.
While there are countries that have vaccinated almost all their citizens, billions of people are not able to access even the first dose of the vaccine, he stressed, adding this is an alarming issue for humanity and human values.
The global outbreak, which caught even the richest countries of the world unprepared, caused serious destruction, especially in underdeveloped countries, he added.
But it is clear that the pandemic will not end and economic recovery will not occur without ensuring fair access to the vaccine, he said.
Countries reaching the number of doses that can vaccinate their citizens should deliver their excess vaccines to countries in need, Erdogan underlined.
Impact of pandemic on global economy
It is also important that economic recovery is carried out with an understanding based on cooperation and solidarity rather than on “protectionist reflexes,” he said.
We attach importance to alleviating the debt burden of low-income countries, together with the strengthening of liquidity opportunities, Erdogan noted.
The G20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative is an important step we have taken to minimize the effects of the pandemic, he said.
We see the benefit in extending the Debt Service Suspension Initiative for the second time to cover the entire year of 2021, he stressed.
Turkey’s contribution to global solidarity
After a year into the pandemic, the COVID-19 outbreak has revealed that the destiny of all humanity is common in the face of global problems, he said.
Turkey has endeavored to strengthen global solidarity and international cooperation since the beginning of this struggle, he noted.
With this understanding, we provided medical assistance and support to 157 countries and 12 international organizations, he stressed.
In particular, we did not leave our African brothers and sisters alone in these difficult days, Erdogan also said.
Turkey has made significant progress in developing indigenous COVID-19 vaccines. One candidate, developed by Turkey’s Erciyes University, will enter Phase-3 trials by the end of April as the last volunteer will get the second dose on April 9, Turkey’s Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said last week.