Global efforts toward pandemic reform agenda are moving, but not fast or cohesive enough, according to panel

Nov. 22, 2021

Reform on pandemic preparedness and response is underway, but to end this pandemic and prepare for the next global health threat, Heads of State and Government must come together to make faster progress.

In a six-month accountability report, the former Co-Chairs of The Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response assess the linked areas of leadership and governance, financing, equity, a new legal instrument, and a stronger WHO. The Co-Chairs presented their findings today in a new report titled Losing Time: End this pandemic and secure the future, during a Chatham House event. 

In May 2021, Her Excellency Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and the Right Honourable Helen Clark issued the Independent Panel’s findings following a nine-month deep-dive into the global and national response to COVID-19. They recommended immediate actions to end COVID-19 and a package of international, interlinked reform solutions intended to stop a future outbreak from becoming another devastating pandemic.  In this report, they summarize progress on each recommendation in a comprehensive dashboard.

The former Co-Chairs find uneven and sometimes fragmented efforts as the pandemic continues at pace. They note that in just the six months since tabling their plan for action at least 90 million more people have contracted COVID and 1.65 million more people have died - and those are only the illnesses and deaths that have been recorded. 

Of grave urgent concern remains vaccine inequity - which has changed very little since May 2021. Analysis shows very low full coverage in the poorest countries – in some under 1% of the population are fully vaccinated.

The former Co-Chairs say that global health cannot be left hostage to a pharmaceutical industry which buys up patents and develops them in the interest of making profits. They say that the development of a true end-to-end global public goods model remains the answer. 

The report also warns that vaccine pledges can be soured by inconsistent delivery and dumping of near-expired vaccines – creating “a wasted opportunity to protect people.”

Independent Panel press release

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