Canada should focus on vaccine fairness – not travel bans – say doctors, human rights activist – .

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Canada should focus on vaccine fairness – not travel bans – say doctors, human rights activist – .


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Health and Infectious Disease Experts Call on Government of Canada to Focus on Global Equity in Vaccines, Not travel bans, as it takes action to respond to news of the omicron variant of COVID-19.

Doctors, along with a human rights policy expert who spoke to CBC this week, said the federal government can and should increase vaccine shipments to low-income countries sooner than expected. , encourage more vaccine production and advocate for rules requiring drug companies to release vaccine revenue.

And that is in everyone’s best interest, they said.

“If you don’t want to be selfless … and if you just want to be interested, it’s in your best interest to get everyone on this planet vaccinated as soon as possible,” said Dr Ross Upshur, professor at the School of Health. Public Dalla Lana and the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Toronto.

After the omicron announcement, Canada said it would restrict travel from countries in southern Africa, a region that had reported cases of the worrisome new variant. Critics immediately questioned this decision, as it became apparent that the variant was also surfacing in different parts of the world and in Canada.

Vaccine targets are not reached

Infectious disease specialists have long said that the way to prevent the spread and mutation is to make sure countries around the world have enough vaccines for a significant portion of their population. The World Health Organization (WHO) has set a target for 70% of the world’s population to be fully immunized by mid-2022.

But the world is a long way from that target with around 40 countries – most in Africa – having less than 10% of their population vaccinated against COVID-19, according to immunization data from local governments on Wednesday via Our World in Data.

WATCH | A South African doctor talks about the symptoms of omicron:

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