President of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) Abdulla Shahid will be convening a high-level meeting on universal COVID-19 vaccination in 2022. Speaking at the Global COVID-19 Summit hosted by US President Joe Biden, Shahid said that as president of the UNGA, he will host a high-level event ‘Towards Universal Vaccination: Frome Hope to Action’. During the summit, he didn’t reveal when the event will take place, however, Shahid’s spokesperson Monica Grayley informed that the event is slated for next year, i.e., 2022.
Addressing the COVID-19 Summit on Wednesday, 22 September, Shahid said, “We will work to shore up political support for COVAX and the multilateral mechanisms for vaccine supply and distribution. We will identify collective actions to quickly close the gap and ensure universal access to vaccines”.
The Maldives Foreign Minister Shahid, who took the oath of office as the President of the 76th session of the UNGA last week, further noted that the 2022 event will address the challenges in supply and distribution and added, “I trust and hope that we can work together to make this a reality in leaving no one behind”. Shahid even went on to say that he firmly believes that collectively the world can work together towards universal inoculation and reach global vaccination goals. He said that vaccines promise is the “single greatest defence against COVID-19, our greatest opportunity to reopen the world, and our greatest asset in the race against variants”.
Meanwhile, the virtual Global Summit was hosted by the White House on Wednesday. The event revolved around the topic ‘Ending the Pandemic and Building Better Health Security to Prepare for the Next’. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is currently visiting the US, also marked his presence at the meeting with a small message.
PM Modi addresses Global COVID Summit
During the Summit, PM Modi highlighted that the world needs to focus on addressing the economic effects of the ongoing pandemic. He called for mutual recognition of vaccine certificates for easier international travel. The Indian Prime Minister also spoke about India’s pharmaceutical industry producing cost-effective diagnostic kits, drugs, medical devices and PPE kits and sharing them with over 150 countries.
PM Modi said, “Two indegeniously developed vaccines have recieved EUA in India including the world’s first DNA-based vaccine. Several Indian companies are also involved in licence production of various vaccines. Earlier, this year we shared our vaccine production with 95 other countries and with UN Peacekeepers and like a family, the world stood with India when it was going through a second phase. For the solidarity and support extended to India, I thank you all.”