Online seminar: United for vaccine justice worldwide!

Videos der Online-Seminare

The Omicron variant shows: Corona is not over until the virus is contained worldwide. High vaccination rates in some countries will only protect the population there. In other regions however, the virus will spawn new mutations that have the potential to spread around the world. It is therefore important that all people worldwide get the opportunity to be vaccinated as quickly as possible. Out of solidarity and as human rights obligation  - but also to leave the pandemic and its consequences behind us as soon as possible.

Tourism also suffers heavily from the pandemic and its consequences. Some companies are therefore already trying to contribute to more vaccine justice. In order to give inspiration to other stakeholders in tourism for their commitment to more vaccine justice, Futouris, forum anders reisen and Tourism Watch / Brot für die Welt held an online seminar on November 16. Titled "United for vaccine justice worldwide!", the seminar provides practical examples how companies in the tourism industry can actively contribute to faster access to vaccinations in countries of the Global South.

Mareike Haase, international health policy officer at Bread for the World, gave an overview of the current global COVID-19 situation. She highlighted the uneven distribution of vaccines worldwide as a major problem in combating the pandemic. She criticized bilateral contracts between companies and rich countries, which leads to a lower distribution to the COVAX initiative. In order to produce vaccines and medical material in sufficient quantities in the Global South itself, patents and intellectual property rights must be temporarily suspended.

Following, Antje Rahn from the tour operator ATC Namibia spoke about how access to vaccines can be improved locally and how reluctance to vaccinate can be countered. In a project in the Bwawata National Park in Namibia, her organization, together with Gebeco and Futouris, brought in a medical team to conduct general health check-ups, an education campaign on COVID-19, and to start a vaccination campaign.

Kai Pardon, managing director of Reisen mit Sinnen, then showed that even small companies can have an impact on higher vaccination rates with the help of tour guides as influencers.

Yvonne Küpper from the tour operator FairAway Travel informed about the possibility to donate vaccine doses as a company.

Gerd Deininger, managing director of Aventoura, in turn, reported on his experiences in donating medical equipment, such as syringes, masks and protective clothing, which his company sent to Cuba.

Finally, Petra Thomas from forum anders reisen presented a call for more vaccine justice, which she addressed together with the German Travel Association and six other tourism associations to the then managing federal German government in October. The associations call for better access to vaccines in poorer countries, so that the world, but also the tourism industry has a chance to overcome the pandemic. Both, the transfer of unneeded vaccine doses from Germany, the extensive support of the COVAX initiative and the establishment of own vaccine production in countries of the Global South are required.

On November 18, another international seminar on vaccine equity was held, also highlighting the need for more engagement from the tourism industry.