July 2021 Together Women Rise Webinar: Vaccine Access
Thanks to those of you who were able to join our July Advocacy webinar. We had a rich discussion about vaccine inequity which is our newest call to action. You can find the recording here and slides here. You can take action on the new vaccine access campaign here. And next month we will again hold only one session, this time on Wednesday, August 18th at 8 PM ET. We will return to our two evening webinars in September.
To follow up on our Global Partnership for Education (GPE) campaign—we had 109 members of Congress sign the Kilmer-Fitzpatrick letter to the administration in support of pledging $1 billion to GPE over five years. We know many of you worked hard to build relationships with your congressional offices and get those signatures—your advocacy paid off. The GPE summit will be held on July 28th and will be hosted by the UK and Kenya. You can follow it here. RESULTS will be making sure the sign-on letters and the media generated on GPE get to the administration before then.
Global Vaccine Access Needed
Before we begin our nutrition campaign, prior to the Nutrition for Growth Summit on December 7-8, we have a new campaign to increase the production and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines globally. We will be working hand-in-hand with other organizations to see that the US takes a leadership role to make vaccines available to everyone. No one is safe until everyone is safe. Currently only 1% of the population in African countries has been vaccinated, whereas in the US it is almost 50%. And we know that the longer the virus is allowed to spread, the greater its ability to create variants that defy the vaccines. Here is an excellent short article “Covid-19 vaccine equity as a global good”. We would also recommend this article by Peter Sands, the CEO of the Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria: Why aren’t diseases like HIV and malaria, which still kill millions of people a year, called pandemics?
Dr Tedros of WHO made this analogy a few days ago:
“It is definitely worse in places that have very few vaccines, but the pandemic is not over anywhere. The current collective strategy reminds me of a firefighting team taking on a forest blaze. Hosing down part of it might reduce the flames in one area but while it’s smoldering anywhere, sparks will eventually travel and grow again into a roaring furnace. The world should battle together to put out this pandemic inferno everywhere. The global gap in vaccine supply is hugely uneven and inequitable.”
Take Action on Vaccine Access!
Our current call to action, which we encourage you to share broadly with friends and other networks you are part of, is to call on President Biden to increase the production and distribution of these vaccines. You can send an email, tweet @POTUS, or call the White House, or maybe do all three through this online action! You do not need to belong to our chapter or RESULTS to take this action. The more people who demand vaccine equity, the sooner we may see this happen.
There will be an accompanying action coming soon, calling on Congress to allocate $25 billion to accomplish this. To put this in perspective—we can vaccinate the world for $25 billion, but not doing could result in an estimated $9.2 trillion loss in global economic output. We cannot afford to do otherwise—it is the right thing to do morally, medically, as a humanitarian, and certainly economically.
We know that women and girls are disproportionately suffering due to the pandemic. We anticipate that 20 million girls will not return to school. Almost 10% of the world’s population experienced undernutrition last year, and we know that women and girls eat last and least. We cannot respond to global gender equity by improving education, nutrition, and general health if we do not first deal with the COVID pandemic.