RUSSIALINK: “Medvedev calls for ensuring everyone’s access to coronavirus vaccines, abandoning ‘vaccine nationalism'” – Interfax

Dmitri Medvedev file photo

MOSCOW. May 19 (Interfax) – Russian Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev has called on the global community to ensure access to vaccines for the novel coronavirus infection to everyone and to stop practicing “vaccine nationalism.”

“It is necessary to in the near future agree on the rules for recognizing vaccines for the purpose of cross-border travel and ensure general access to vaccines, ensure a coordinated approach, and abandon the practice of so-called vaccine nationalism,” Medvedev said at a plenary session of the St. Petersburg International Legal Forum held in a videoconference format.

Aspects of the international legal regulation for the use of coronavirus vaccines “are very complicated and extremely relevant and often concern matters of life and death,” he said.

“All these issues should be addressed together, using the forums of the United Nations, the World Health Organization, the Council of Europe, and other authoritative international organizations,” Medvedev said.

Otherwise, “if regulatory gaps persist, this will inevitably engender conflicting practices by states and international and national courts, which, as a rule, doesn’t do any good,” he said.

This is precisely why “relations concerning vaccination should be settled in the international legal dimension,” Medvedev said.

“Whether such vaccination is a person’s right or obligation, who is responsible for the unfavorable consequences of refusal to vaccinate or, to the contrary, for side effects of vaccination, whether the state can artificially restrict access to foreign vaccines or medicines – these are difficult questions,” Medvedev said, inviting his foreign counterparts to share their opinions.

[article also appeared at interfax.com/newsroom/top-stories/71819/]