WASHINGTON (WDVM) — An advocacy group based in Washington launched a vaccine equity campaign that centers around the Olympic Games.
The #StopPlayingGames campaign uses the world’s biggest sporting event as a way to bring attention to a lack of vaccine access globally. Through videos, the percentage of vaccinations in other countries is highlighted as well as what people in other countries are going through when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, infographics are timed with certain games and matches, and the graphics highlight the disparity in vaccine numbers between competing countries.
The goal of the campaign is to persuade President Biden and other world leaders to invest in global vaccinations and take action.
In June, President Biden announced the United States will donate 500 million doses to 92 low and lower-middle-income countries around the world. These doses are in addition to the 80 million doses that have already been sent.
Public Citizen’s Global Vaccine Access Campaign Director, Liza Barrie, acknowledged that a 580 million dose donation is a good start, but said the President can be doing more.
“President Biden and his counterparts in rich countries, they need to live up to the Olympic values of fair play and global solidarity. They need to stop playing games, start saving lives and vaccinate the world now. People are dying needlessly, even as we sit here now, and we have the vaccines. Other people should have them as well,” Barrie said.
There is also a petition that calls on President Biden to launch a global vaccination program, and it will be open for signatures until the day of the closing ceremony at the Olympics.