Teenage campaigner from Baffins visits parliament to push for global vaccine equity

AN 18-year-old Portsmouth campaigner faced MPs in parliament to urge government to help end the pandemic on a global scale.

By Elsa Waterfield
Thursday, 10th March 2022, 5:02 pm

Ella Reilly, from Baffins, headed to parliament to take part in the One Campaign’s day of action, urging the UK government to do more to tackle vaccine access in low-income countries.

One aims to end poverty by the year 2030, working to educate people around the world on issues related to ending extreme poverty and preventable disease.

Alongside other activists, Ella met with a number of MPs including MP for North Ayrshire and Arran, Patricia Gibson, to discuss why ending the pandemic globally should be the UKs top priority.

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USE SMALL ONLY POOR PIC The One Campaign The One Campaign. Day of Action in Parliament. 23/2/22 Ella Reilly with Patricia Gibson MP. Picture: Anna Gordon/ The One Campaign

As well as pushing the debate on the UKs global contribution, One’s day of action involved youth ambassadors handing over a petition signed by more than 130,000 people, driving governments to go further and faster, to help vaccinate the world.

Ella provided MPs with their own personal booklets, including messages from their own constituents, expressing concerns over the pace of which the UK has delivered vaccines to developing countries.

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The One campaign maintains that vaccine distribution around the world is highly unequal and low-income countries have currently administered just one per cent of the world’s Covid-19 vaccines.

Ella Reilly with Patricia Gibson MP

In Africa in particular, they suggest that due to this - the risk of new variants emerging is high.

Ella said: ‘The UK must play its part in global efforts to end the pandemic. Financing the global pandemic fight is key in achieving that.’

‘With a successful vaccination programme in the UK, the government needs to follow through on its commitment to sharing vaccines and help to end the pandemic everywhere for everyone.’

A poll carried out by the One campaign showed that 63 per cent of British people agreed that sharing vaccines with developing countries, rather than delivering further boosters here at home, may prevent the spread of new variants.

At a health heroes reception prior to the day of action, Ella had the chance to speak to Professor Sir Andrew Pollard, chief investigator of clinical trials for the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.

Andrew agreed with the importance of vaccine distribution and the need for an improved global approach, to help bring the pandemic to an end.

Romilly Greenhill, UK Director of the One Campaign, said: ‘Ensuring low-income countries vaccinate their population will prevent new variants from emerging.’

‘Vaccinating the world is in our national interest, too.’

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