NL residents want fair vaccine distribution worldwide
According to research by Doctors Without Borders, 93 percent of Netherlands residents think that coronavirus vaccines should be distributed more fairly worldwide. The study, which DirectResearch conducted, also found that about 66 percent of the 1,041 respondents believe that the Netherlands contributes to the unfair distribution of coronavirus vaccines worldwide.
Deputy director Judith Sargentini said she finds it encouraging that so many Netherlands residents say that the vaccines should be distributed fairly. "Vaccines save lives, and we won't get out of the pandemic if some countries can't vaccinate." She believes that caretaker Minister Hugo de Jonge (Public Health) should be open about what is "going wrong" with donating vaccines. On December 9, the lower house of Dutch parliament will debate the global approach to the coronavirus.
In a letter to parliament, De Jonge wrote in September that the Netherlands would donate 27 million vaccines to the international Covax vaccination program before the end of this year. In November, he said this was "very complicated" and that at least 10 million vaccines had to be donated more quickly.
Sargentini is critical of this. "More booster shots have now been given in high-income countries than first shots have been administered in low-income countries," said the deputy director. "Even with the booster shots, we still have enough in the Netherlands." Of those surveyed in the Doctors Without Borders study, 86 percent believe a country should not buy more vaccines than it needs.
Covax was founded to make vaccine doses available to the poorest 92 countries. This vaccination program determines which countries receive the vaccines via a distribution key. The very first delivery to Covax from the Netherlands left at the end of October. This contained 340,800 AstraZeneca vaccines.
Reporting by ANP.