APEC leaders vow to accelerate access to COVID-19 vaccine Reuters

© Reuters. File photo: In this illustration taken on October 30, 2020, a woman holds a small bottle labeled “Coronavirus COVID-19 Vaccine” and a medical syringe. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/File Photo

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Washington (Reuters)-World leaders stated in a statement after the Asia-Pacific Trade Organization APEC virtual meeting that widespread COVID-19 immunization is a global public product, and accelerated access to vaccines is essential to overcome the crisis .

After the virtual conference hosted by New Zealand, in a statement posted on the APEC website, the leaders of the 21-member group vowed to redouble their efforts to expand vaccine production and supply and said they would continue to support the economy when necessary.

US President Joe Biden, Russia’s Vladimir Putin, China’s Xi Jinping and other world leaders attended the meeting to seek collective action to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic impact.

In the statement, the leaders also stated that they would encourage the voluntary transfer of vaccine production technology under mutually agreed conditions, and stated that they must pave the way for the safe resumption of cross-border travel, but “without destroying the prevention of COVID-19.”

The statement said: “The pandemic continues to have a devastating impact on the people and economy of our region.”

It said: “We can overcome this health emergency only by accelerating equitable access to safe, effective, quality-assured and affordable COVID-19 vaccines.”

“We recognize the role of widespread immunization against COVID-19 as a global public product. To this end, we will redouble our efforts to expand vaccine production and supply, support global vaccine sharing efforts, and encourage voluntary transfer of vaccine production technology on mutually agreed terms,” The statement added. https://www.apec.org/Meeting-Papers/Leaders-Declarations/2021/2021_ILR

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