WVA welcomes COVID-19 vaccine announcement, calls on global leaders to commit to most vulnerable in roll-out

World Vision welcomes the announcement that an effective vaccine may soon be available, but calls on global leaders to ensure equitable roll-out to the world’s most vulnerable. 
News of the development of a COVID-19 vaccine will bring hope to millions, particularly the world’s most at-risk people whose lives are threatened and livelihoods decimated by the pandemic. 
The vulnerable include refugees in crowded camps, people living in urban slums where the virus spreads more easily, the poorest who have suffered massively under lockdowns, many minority populations, and children made more vulnerable by the collapse of family livelihoods. 
It is now vital that, if approved for roll-out by the World Health Organisation, the vaccine be administered safely and fairly. Global leaders must ensure that first-phase allocations are used both strategically to contain the pandemic, and morally to prioritise the most vulnerable and highest-risk people. In the meantime, it is critical that people continue to adhere to prevention measures designed to contain the spread of COVID-19. 
World Vision has decades of experience partnering with communities in the developing world to combat the spread and impact of HIV and AIDS, Ebola and childhood diseases. We know that for the eventual vaccines to be taken up effectively, we must engage communities and that the role of local leaders is vital, including faith leaders, community health and development workers. 
“We stand ready to assist in a global vaccine roll-out campaign and to engage the hundreds of thousands of faith leaders and over 200,000 local health workers we already work with at community level” said Dan Irvine, Senior Director, Health and Nutrition, World Vision International. 
World Vision works in some of the world’s most remote, most dangerous and challenging environments. 
COVID-19 has infected more than 50 million, caused 1.2 million deaths and has reversed decades of development gains in just months. Therefore, we are deeply thankful for all scientists who have worked tirelessly to develop a vaccine. 
World Vision’s COVID response programme has so far reached 54 million people in 70 countries. For more info, visit www.wvi.org/emergencies/coronavirus-health-crisis/our-impact 
For more information or for interview requests, contact: Mike Bruce 0403 920 189 or mike.bruce@worldvision.com.au 

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