New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Photo: Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

Eight world leaders called on the international community in a Washington Post op-ed Wednesday to ensure that people across the globe have equal access to a future vaccine for the coronavirus.

Why it matters: Global demand for a successful vaccine is expected to skyrocket, which could send nations racing to obtain a supply while international organizations scramble to secure equitable access for all countries.


  • Justin Trudeau, prime minister of Canada
  • Sahle-Work Zewde, president of Ethiopia
  • Moon Jae-in, president of the Republic of Korea
  • Jacinda Ardern, prime minister of New Zealand
  • Cyril Ramaphosa, president of South Africa (also chairperson of the African Union)
  • Pedro Sánchez Pérez-Castejón, prime minister of Spain
  • Stefan Lofven, prime minister of Sweden
  • Elyes Fakhfakh, prime minister of the Republic of Tunisia

What they're saying: "While global cooperation in terms of resources, expertise and experiences is paramount for developing a vaccine, manufacturing and distributing it while leaving no one behind will truly put global cooperation to the test," the world leaders wrote.

  • "Therefore, we must urgently ensure that vaccines will be distributed according to a set of transparent, equitable and scientifically sound principles. Where you live should not determine whether you live, and global solidarity is central to saving lives and protecting the economy."

The big picture: The authors argue that developing and distributing a vaccine will be "a cornerstone of strengthening multilateralism for the future."

  • Some experts fear that nationalism and pre-contracted vaccine production may derail such efforts and damage international cooperation.

Go deeper: Moderna's vaccine spurred immune system response to coronavirus

Go deeper

Oct 21, 2020 - World

Spain becomes first nation in Western Europe to exceed 1 million COVID-19 cases

Photo: Miquel Benitez/Getty Images

Spain exceeded 1 million confirmed coronavirus cases on Wednesday, becoming the first country in Western Europe to hit the milestone, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

The state of play: Spain, which reported 16,973 cases over the previous 24 hours, was one of the most affected countries when the pandemic started, and cases have been on the rise since September, according to NPR.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Chris Christie: Wear a mask "or you may regret it — as I did" — Senate Democrats block vote on McConnell's targeted relief bill.
  2. Business: New state unemployment filings fall.
  3. Economy: Why the stimulus delay isn't a crisis (yet).
  4. Health: FDA approves Gilead's remdesivir as a coronavirus treatment How the pandemic might endMany U.S. deaths were avoidable.
  5. Education: Boston and Chicago send students back home for online learning.
  6. World: Spain and France exceed 1 million cases.
20 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Chris Christie: Wear a mask "or you may regret it — as I did"

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (C) and other guests at the White House Rose Garden ceremony for President Trump's Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett on Sept. 26. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), who was hospitalized with COVID-19, implored people in a Wall Street Journal op-ed Wednesday to wear masks "or you may regret it — as I did."

The big picture: Christie didn't wear a mask when he helped President Trump prepare for the first presidential debate nor during the White House Rose Garden ceremony for Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett in September. "I let my guard down and left my mask off," Christie wrote in the WSJ article.

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