CMMB Supports WHO’s Vaccine Equity Declaration

The Vaccine Equity Declaration calls on governments and manufacturers to speed up regulatory processes, boost manufacturing by sharing know-how and technology, and ensure that doses are shared equitability.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK — Wednesday, February 24th, 2021

CMMB (Catholic Medical Mission Board) joins WHO’s Vaccine Equity Declaration as a signatory by calling on global, national, and local leaders to accelerate the equitable rollout of vaccines in every country, starting with health workers and those at highest risk for COVID-19.

The Declaration calls on all governments to ensure that COVID-19 vaccines are distributed free without risk of financial hardship and to prioritize affected communities and the voices of essential workers and ensure gender equality. Women make up the vast majority of health workers and have been at the forefront of the pandemic response.

“Protecting the most vulnerable against COVID-19 is aligned with Catholic social teaching,” said Mary Beth Powers, President and CEO of CMMB. “An equitable rollout of the vaccine that prioritizes healthcare workers and those at highest risk should be considered an act of love for our neighbor.”

“Women are on the frontlines of our COVID-19 response. From Haiti and Peru to Kenya, South Sudan, and Zambia, our community health workers are primarily women. They are distributing PPE, educating their communities on how the virus spreads and ways to prevent infection, and maintaining service delivery during the pandemic. At great risk to themselves, our community health workers are providing the best possible health solutions with dignity, respect and love.”

The Declaration asks governments to reject vaccine nationalism at every turn. In the majority of low- and middle-income, vaccination has not even started. Wealthy countries are stockpiling the vaccine, leaving poorer countries on the sidelines. The Declaration urges nations with excess vaccines to donate them to the global COVAX scheme to ensure fairness and to protect the most vulnerable. A study found that vaccine stockpiling may results in in almost twice as many fatalities globally than there would be if vaccines were shared equally.

“COVID-19 has shown us that we cannot act alone in the face of a global health crisis,” said Mary Beth Powers. “CMMB stands with WHO by calling on global leaders to accelerate vaccine equity among countries and within countries.”

Read the WHO Vaccine Equity Declaration here.

Please contact Luke Dougherty, Director of Communications, at for more information or questions.

About CMMB

CMMB (Catholic Medical Mission Board) provides long-term community-based medical, preventative, and development aid to women and children who are disproportionately affected by poverty. CMMB focuses on improving access to proper healthcare to the most vulnerable populations in targeted parts of Zambia, Kenya, South Sudan, Peru, and Haiti. CMMB utilizes three pathways to providing care; through the Children and Mothers Partnerships (CHAMPS) program model, the Medical Donations Program, and Volunteer program.

With over 100 years of experience, CMMB distributed nearly half a billion dollars worth of medicines and medical supplies to 31 countries last year alone. CMMB’s volunteer doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals are paired with medicines and medical supplies in remote communities, providing access to care and building local capacity. CMMB’s CHAMPS program makes long-term commitments in communities, addressing and working to change the root causes that restrict women and children from living healthier lives.

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