Letter: Nobody will be safe unless we are all safe

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson holds a vial of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine Covid-19 candidate vaccine, known as AZD1222, at Wockhardt's pharmaceutical manufacturing facility in Wrexham, Wales, Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. (Paul Ellis/PA via AP)

The novel coronavirus has laid bare the inequities that exist in our country and our world. As fellow Utahns, we have witnessed the detrimental effects of this virus. We have witnessed people losing their jobs, businesses closing down, people being hospitalized and loved ones being lost to this horrible virus.
Our health care workers are working tirelessly as hospital beds reach capacity and we struggle to get this virus under control. It’s going to take us working as one if we want to have any success. Nobody will be safe until we are all safe.
Where you live shouldn’t determine whether you live. That’s why the U.S. must fund proven global health programs like Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and CEPI, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, that are focused on developing and fairly deploying eventual COVID-19 vaccines, diagnostics and treatments to those who need it most, regardless of where they live.
While we don’t know who will develop the first fully effective vaccine, we do know that when a vaccine is found, it’s all but certain that there won’t be enough supply immediately to protect everyone in the country, let alone the world.
Sens. Mitt Romney and Mike Lee must help ensure that the most vulnerable people have priority access to the vaccine, regardless of whether they live in Salt Lake City or Nairobi.

If a vaccine is distributed exclusively to high-income countries first, the world will only avoid 33% of COVID-19 related deaths. But, if a vaccine is distributed to every country on the globe proportionally to those key populations, the world could avoid 61% of COVID-19 related deaths.
By supporting $20 billion in global COVID-19 response funding, Romney and Lee can help champion a global vaccine and defeat this global pandemic everywhere.
Ashley Alserda Jensen, Cottonwood Heights
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