Zovko: The aggravating situation in Latin America and other regions shows that the COVAX initiative needs a boost.
Brussels, 29 April 2021
The numbers of Covid-19 patients in Latin American countries are rising at an alarming rate. Although Latin America comprises 8.4 % of the world’s population, it has accumulated at present more than a fifth of global deaths from coronavirus. At the April plenary session, Members of the European Parliament debated on the management of the pandemic in this region.
During Željana Zovko’s intervention, she stated that the devastating effects of the pandemic on both sides of the Atlantic call for solidarity, mercy and a coordinated response. She underlined that the COVAX initiative, to which the European Union also contributes, has so far only administered 38 million vaccines worldwide. According to the MEP, there is a clear need to boost production and distribution via the COVAX initiative and to better understand why there have not been more vaccines distributed.
Zovko pointed out that not only Latin America but also other third countries, including the immediate neighbourhood of the European Union, see the infection rates augmenting. “They are taken by a perfect storm and wait in fear for the third or fourth wave to bring them down into the oblivion. Just because they didn’t have a chance to be born on the right side of the border,” she said.
On a personal note, Zovko also shared that on 11 of April her mother died of Covid-19. Zovko stated that her mother was in a country that is on the wrong side of the European border and that this could happen due to inefficiency and hesitance of those who think that there is still time and the patience to wait for the only remedy for this disease, namely the vaccine. She added that she was infected, already a second time, by the new kind of virus that comes and goes and does not stop at the border. “I feel a big failure talking and voting here, as my mother was not given a chance. She had her perfect storm. And so do many people in Latin America.” Zovko said.