Pierre Raises Issue Of ‘Vaccine Apartheid’ In Address To UN

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Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre raised the issue of  ‘vaccine apartheid’ during his maiden address, delivered virtually on Saturday, to the  the General Debate of the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

“We have witnessed in dismay the politics at play even in the midst of this pandemic as various countries create their list of recognised and unrecognised vaccines with certain privileges awarded to global citizens who have opted for certain branded vaccines over others. We have witnesses vaccine apartheid in various forms and not only in terms of production and distribution. Some countries which have stockpiled vaccines are now in the middle of debate about third doses and boosters, while other countries watch helplessly as COVID-19 related deaths continue to rise for want of a jab,” the Saint Lucia Prime Minister asserted.

“In Saint Lucia we recognise all vaccines that are endorsed and administered by a country’s respective governments as we have entrusted sovereign states with the responsibility of following the science,” Pierre observed.

“In this regard we call for the standardisation of vaccine privileges across the global community as it relates to quarantine, isolation, and other related requirements,” he told the UN session.

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According to Pierre, COVID-19 has enlarged and worsened the issues confronting Small Island Developing States (SIDS).

“We are now being inundated by the new while still being overwhelmed by the old. We continue to contend with the near-impossible balancing act of preserving lives and livelihoods. The insidious nature of the virus has allowed it to sneak across even the most heavily patrolled borders and Saint Lucia has experienced waves of highs and lows in managing this pandemic,” he observed.

The PM extended this country’s deepest gratitude to international institutions such as the COVAX facility and Saint Lucia’s many bilateral partners like India and the United States of America for their commitment in ensuring that Saint Lucia and by extension the Caribbean region, were not further disadvantaged by an inability to access vaccines.

However, he noted that as the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic continues, there’s a parallel global threat in the form of misinformation.

“ The government of Saint Lucia has embarked on a robust education programme to encourage our population to get vaccinated as realistically this is the only way to reduce, eliminate and eradicate the risk and restrictions caused by this pandemic and permit us to rebuild our economies and societies stronger,” Pierre said.

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Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
Our Editorial Staff at St. Lucia Times is a team publishing news and other articles to over 200,000 regular monthly readers in Saint Lucia and in over 150 other countries worldwide.

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