Irish business leaders have signed an Open Letter calling for corporate support for the global vaccine rollout.
The Open Letter, signed by executives at Aerogen, Avolon, ESB, ICON, KPMG Ireland, Mason Hayes & Curran and Zurich Ireland, calls on all corporate leaders in Ireland to join the UNICEF Corporate Vaccine Alliance.
The Alliance supports UNICEF's goal to deliver over two billion Covid-19 vaccines by the end of 2021 through its global vaccine procurement and delivery infrastructure.
The letter highlights the gulf between vaccination rates in rich countries and in some of the world’s poorest – where fully vaccinated rates are below 5% in many cases.
The human toll of the pandemic is clear, as is the impact on the world economy.
A study by the International Chamber of Commerce has projected that, if we collectively fail to ensure equitable access to vaccines, the world risks global GDP losses of up to US$9.2 trillion this year alone.
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ICON, a world-leading healthcare intelligence and clinical research organisation, based in Ireland, has been involved in conducting global clinical trials for several Covid-19 vaccines. ICON, CFO Brendan Brennan is one of the signatories of the Open Letter.
"Our teams have worked tirelessly for over a year to help scientists bring hope through novel vaccines and therapeutics. Our commitment to global public health and advanced research is why we have joined the UNICEF Corporate Vaccine Alliance," he said.
"We recognise our responsibility to the most vulnerable populations who need vaccines and treatments to fight Covid-19 right now. ICON is honoured to be a part of the Alliance, and we encourage others in Ireland to get involved."
Dómhnal Slattery, CEO of Avolon has also signed the Open Letter. The aviation lessor has contributed to 15,759 vaccine deliveries for UNICEF's global vaccine campaign, and has helped fund oxygen tanks, PPE and other life-saving supplies around the world throughout the pandemic.
"While restarting the global economy and ensuring the movement of people is essential to business, the vaccine is essential to life. Avolon is proud to support UNICEF’s global response to Covid-19," Mr Slattery said.
Peter Power, Executive Director of UNICEF Ireland, said Corporate Ireland can change the trajectory of the pandemic by helping to ensure fair and safe access to vaccines across the world. "Business leaders understand that vaccinating the world is not just the right thing to do," he said, "but also something we must do to restart our global economy."
He thanked the existing Corporate Vaccine Alliance members and their leaders for their generous contributions and leadership with this Open Letter.