25 March 2021
The World Health Professions Alliance (WHPA) supports the World Health Organization’s Vaccine Equity Declaration, which encourages countries to ensure that access to immunisation is determined by need, rather than wealth or geographic location.
"The world is on the brink of a catastrophic moral failure – and the price of this failure will be paid with lives and livelihoods in the world’s poorest countries." Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General,18 January 2021.
Representing 41 million health professionals around the world, WHPA recognises that health professionals are at the heart of every health system and governments must provide safe, supportive environments to help them thrive, including access to vaccines.
The declaration states that “We must accelerate vaccine equity for all health workers – now”. Health professionals and care personnel continue to be on the front line of the fight against this virus. Race, ethnicity, underlying health conditions, occupation type, and job setting can contribute to health professional’s risk of acquiring COVID-19 and experiencing severe outcomes, including death. By providing critical care to those who are or might be infected with the virus, health professionals have a high risk of being exposed to and getting sick with COVID-19.
WHPA believes that early vaccine access is critical to ensuring the health and safety of our essential workforce, protecting not only them but also their patients, families, communities, and the broader health of countries.
WHPA represents health professionals on WHO’s Steering Committee for The Year of the Health and Care Workers, chaired by WHO Director General Dr Tedros. The committee is responsible for driving the work for the year and particularly pushing for the world’s health and care workers are prioritised for the COVID-19 vaccine in the first 100 days of 2021 and mobilizing commitments from Member States, International Financing Institutions, bilateral and philanthropic partners to protect and invest in health and care workers to accelerate the attainment of the SDGs and COVID-19 recovery.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic the five members of the WHPA have been advocating for the rights, respect and support of health professionals and workers around the world and have strengthened their collaboration through the Stand Up for Positive Practice Environments campaign and an increased dialogue.
Earlier this year the Presidents of the WHPA members also came together to create a video to urge the public to take concrete action to help safeguard our underfunded, COVID-affected health systems.
Each of the WHPA members have signed the declaration individually, in addition to collectively. Find out more about their professional recommendations and activities: