The Covid-19 pandemic has reminded us of the right to health and the critical importance of multilateralism. As the pandemic evolves, sustainable, inclusive, and effective vaccination programmes are required to ensure public health. Being a critical pillar of primary care health services, vaccination can be considered a public good.
In its Resolution 2329 (2020), the Parliamentary Assembly calls for promoting responsible research, development and production of medicines, vaccines and other medical equipment, and insists on making them accessible and affordable to all. However, despite publicly funded research and international efforts to provide an equitable distribution of medical goods, structural problems persist. Excessive commodification of health services and the current set of international rules for trade and intellectual property protection impede effective access to healthcare.
While the Assembly, through its Recommendation 2174 (2020), expressed belief that “the Council of Europe’s human rights mandate requires the re-establishment of comprehensive intergovernmental co-operation and co-ordination in the field of public health”, its Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development should make further proposals for building this holistic multilateral effort by: