Britain has circulated a draft resolution to members of the UN Security Council calling on rich countries to donate doses of the Covid-19 vaccine to poorer and war-torn states.
The resolution, submitted on Thursday to the other 14 members of the Security Council, “emphasises the need for solidarity, equity, and efficacy and invites donation of vaccine doses from developed economies to low and middle-income countries and other countries in need.”
The draft resolution was announced earlier by Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab during a session of the Security Council, and estimates that around 160 million people worldwide are living in conflict zones or unstable circumstances that put them at risk of not receiving a vaccination.
Last year, it took the Security Council, stalemated by Chinese-US rivalry, three months to adopt its one and only resolution to date on the pandemic, which called upon warring factions to halt operations to allow for a vaccine to be distributed.
London hopes its resolution will be adopted in the coming week, but Russia could be difficult to convince after saying this week that the issue of vaccines did not fall within the ambit of the Security Council.
The launch of Russia’s own Sputnik V vaccine in the European Union is being held up as it awaits European Medicines Agency (EMA) approval.
Moscow and Brussels have been trading barbs over the length of time the Amsterdam-based regulator is taking.
The EMA says Sputnik faces the same process as all other coronavirus vaccines. This first stage is a “rolling review” of data and trials, which the EMA says Sputnik has not started.
That would be followed by a formal application for a one-year conditional marketing authorization.
Three vaccines are authorized for the EU: Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca. One other, Johnson & Johnson, has applied for authorization. Two others, Novavax and CureVac, have started rolling reviews.
The EMA says it has not received an application for a rolling review or a marketing authorization for the Sputnik V vaccine.
Russian authorities tout the vaccine’s take-up by around 30 countries and a Lancet study showing it was 91.6 percent effective against symptomatic Covid-19 cases.
The developers and backers of Sputnik insist that a rolling review application has been made.