64 Knutsford Boulevard, Kingston 5, Jamaica
: (876) 920-4926-30 | : info@mot.gov.jm

You are here

Vaccine Inequity Could Hinder Global Recovery

Release Date: 
Thursday, October 21, 2021 - 16:30

KINGSTON; Jamaica; October 7, 2021: Tourism Minister Hon. Edmund Bartlett has underscored that increased global access to COVID-19 vaccines is the key to a broad-based tourism and global economic resurgence. This, as he lamented the negative impact of vaccine inequity, which he says could hamper global recovery.

“There will be no broad-based recovery without an end to the health crisis. Access to vaccines is key to both. Regrettably, at this stage in the pandemic, vaccine inequity persists where even with over 6 billion doses of vaccines distributed, the majority of these are in high income countries whereas the poorest countries have less than 1% of their population vaccinated. We agree that equitable global vaccination is not only a moral imperative but also presents long term economic sense,” said the Minister.

The Minister made this statement yesterday (October 6), during the virtual staging of the Organization of American States' (OAS) Twenty-Fifth Inter-American Congress of Ministers and High-Level Tourism Authorities. It brought together top tourist officials, as well as representatives from the commercial sector, academia, and civil society, to examine strategies for mitigating COVID-19's negative effects on tourism, as well as tourism post-COVID-19.

During his remarks, he encouraged the leaders of developed countries to share vaccines with lower income nations, noting that, international coordination and cooperation are key to ensuring an effective global vaccination programme.

“Given the characteristic of a pandemic, and COVID-19, in particular, there can be no sustained nor sustainable global tourism where lower income countries are left behind. This is the premise of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development - lest we forget. In this regard, we welcome and are grateful for gifts of vaccines from our developed partners and we would stress that these should be timely and effective gifts, with consideration for the expiry dates of vaccines,” he said.

During the session ministers and high-level authorities of tourism had the opportunity to exchange ideas and review policy related to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the travel and tourism sectors and identify concrete areas for cooperation among member states to promote its rebuilding and recovery following the pandemic.

Minister Bartlett is currently the Chair of the high-level OAS Working Group, which is developing an action plan, for the recovery of the cruise and airline industries.

The working group is one of four, which were announced during the second special session of the OAS Inter-American Committee on Tourism (CITUR) held on August 14, 2020, to facilitate the effective and timely recovery of the travel and tourism sectors.