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SNP Condemn Vaccine Nationalism


Categories: Coronavirus (COVID-19), Foreign Affairs, Inequality

‘Nobody is safe until everybody is safe’

SNP Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Alyn Smith MP has today (Tuesday) in Foreign Affairs Questions in the House of Commons condemned the tone of statements by some UK Ministers and called for increased action from the UK government towards a global Covid response.  He highlighted the $4.3billion shortfall in the UN’s “Covax” funding scheme and called on the UK to convene a donor summit to bring the fund up to purpose.

Speaking after the session Smith said:

‘Vaccine nationalism is not just distasteful it is self defeating, it is not a competition it is a global problem we’re all facing, and unless we tackle Covid world wide it will mutate and come back on us for years yet.

‘The UK has contributed to the Covax fund and that is to be welcomed, but it still has a massive shortfall.  Just yesterday the head of the WHO said we are on the brink of “a catastrophic moral failure” and more needs done.  The successful GAVI summit last year should be replicated in order to highlight the need for multilateral action on this and encourage donors to make good their warm words.

‘This lack of concerted action makes the statements of some UK Ministers all the more distasteful, even attempts to put a Union flag on the vaccine itself or references to the UK having better people. This is not what anyone needs, it is not a competition and where obviously we want to see people vaccinated as quickly as possible we should not lose sight of the risks of future mutations and the moral imperative to assist those countries that are struggling.  It is all the more shameful that the UK has chosen now as the time to scale back Overseas Development Assistance at precisely the time the world’s most vulnerable need support the most.’