President Alberto Fernández called on world leader’s to ensure that vaccines against Covid-19 are available to all nations, saying poorer countries should not be left behind.
Addressing the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland – which was held virtually this year given the global pandemic – the Peronist leader said Thursday that the vaccines against coronavirus should be considered "a global public good" and delivered to all nations. Fernández also said that existing inequalities had been exacerbated by the virus crisis.
"The pandemic showed us, once again, that to deal with the great global challenges we must cooperate between the public and private sectors, and that the vaccine must be considered a global public good," said the Frente de Todos leader.
Fernández’s speech echoed many of the thoughts offered by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who delivered her speech at the same event on Tuesday.
The Argentine leader called for a "fair" distribution of vaccines across the globe, at a time when competition between countries for shots is increasing due to insufficient supply.
Fernández warned against the impact of such an approach, observing that the virus crisis had “demolished economic structures and exposed the inequality that exists."
"What is happening with vaccines is proof of that," he concluded.
For many nations, optimism over the impact of vaccines has dissipated in recent months, as supply lines falter in the face of heavy demand.
Argentina is among the nations that have faced problems sourcing vaccines. To date, Argentina has received 820,000 doses of the 19.4 million shots it has ordered of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine. The latest batch of doses, some 220,000, arrived in Argentina on Thursday, though the shipment was significantly lower than anticipated.
In addition to its contract with the Russian laboratory Gamaleya, the government also has provision agreements with the pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca, which produced its vaccine with the University of Oxford, and with the Covax mechanism created by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Argentina, with 44 million inhabitants, has registered almost 1.9 million cases of covid, with more than 47,000 deaths to date.