A healthcare worker reaches for a vial of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at the Posta Central Hospital in Santiago, Chile, Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021.

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) is calling for a global summit in the context of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) ACT-A Facilitation Council to discuss equitable access and distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines.

“As the world grapples with the challenge of controlling the COVID-19 pandemic, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) is deeply concerned at the current prospect of inequitable access to vaccines to address the pandemic, especially for frontline workers and vulnerable populations,” a release from the organisation said on Wednesday.

“The reality is that small states will find it difficult to compete in the market place to ensure equitable access for vaccines. Given the transmissibility of the virus, all countries are vulnerable and should work together.”

The release said the inextricable link economically, socially, and by virtue of travel with our neighbours and the wider international community, makes it imperative for CARICOM Member States to be afforded access to vaccines as a matter of urgent priority.

“This action will be mutually beneficial in breaking the transmission of the virus,” it said.

“Notwithstanding that appeal, the Community will explore all available options to access vaccines in order to protect its population from the ravages of the pandemic.”