As the world battles the rapid spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, health professionals are our guiding lights. PHR supports doctors, nurses, public health specialists, and others on the front lines of this pandemic. PHR and our global network of health professionals are working quickly to strengthen the world’s response to COVID-19 and to better prepare for what lies ahead.
Since it initially appeared in Wuhan, China in early January 2020, the novel coronavirus has spread rapidly around the globe, infecting more than 100 million and killing two million people, with the toll rising daily. There are more than 25 million cases of COVID-19 and over 400,000 deaths in the United States alone.
Health infrastructure has been hit hard by the pandemic. Health workers have lacked the necessary personal protective gear, such as masks and gowns. Shortages of ventilators and other critical resources for seriously ill people have compounded the crisis, and unprecedented numbers of patients flooding hospitals have had a grueling impact on health workers and their families. In all too many instances, health care workers who have spoken out about inadequate safety measures have been punished and abused for nothing more than supporting transparency, safety, and human rights. They are heroes, and should be treated as such. PHR and our allies will continue to support and fight for them at every opportunity.
Why We Need Vaccine Equity
As vaccines are rolled out in many, mostly wealthy, countries, PHR is pushing for a just and equitable distribution, grounded in science, ethics, and human rights. A global vaccine will only be effective if no one is left behind.
With our partners across the United States and around the world, we are joining the call to realize equitable vaccine allocation and distribution that prioritize at-risk populations and communities that have disproportionately suffered high rates of infection and death and that face high barriers to vaccine access. In addition to prioritizing health care professionals and essential workers around the world, it’s imperative that global cooperation allows vaccines to effectively reach people in conflict zones, as well as refugees and displaced populations. In the United States and globally, PHR advocates for vaccines to be provided to all marginalized groups, including Black, Indigenous, and other people of color, people in immigration, criminal, or any other form of detention, and all migrants, such as refugees, asylum seekers, and undocumented immigrants.
In January 2021, PHR proudly joined the Campaign for a People’s Vaccine, a movement demanding that vaccines be free, fair, and accessible.