UEA academics encourage donations to global Covid fund

The 'Arm in Arm' campaign, asking people to donate to the World Health Organisation's (WHO) Covid-19 Response Fund, is...

The 'Arm in Arm' campaign, asking people to donate to the World Health Organisation's (WHO) Covid-19 Response Fund, is being led by UEA lecturer Dr Kirstin Smith - Credit: UEA

Leading academics from the University of East Anglia (UEA) are urging vaccine recipients to support a global coronavirus fund. 

Norwich-based doctors and professors are encouraging those being given jabs to make donations to the World Health Organization (WHO). 

Rachel Pooley gets her first Covid-19 vaccination at the Corn Exchange in King's Lynn. Picture: Ian

Around 15 million Covid vaccine doses have been administered across the UK, including at King's Lynn Corn Exchange - Credit: Ian Burt

Christened 'Arm in Arm', the campaign is being led by UEA lecturer Dr Kirstin Smith and her colleagues, and asks people to make a small donations to WHO's response fund. 

Their call comes as the UK's vaccine roll-out reaches its next stage, with 15 million patients having already received initial doses. 

WHO's Covid purse helps countries with fewer resources to track and understand the spread of the virus, providing supplies to frontline workers and care to vulnerable people.  

Dr Smith, from UEA’s School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing, said: “Millions in the UK have experienced the moment of joy when they’ve been offered a vaccine. 

"My dad got his this week and the whole family are relieved as my brother had the virus in the first wave and was quite ill. So many people are grieving friends and relatives, or dealing with the long-term impacts of coronavirus.  

University of East Anglia

UEA academics are encouraging donations to the WHO's Covid-19 Response Fund - Credit: Archant

“We are incredibly lucky to have the NHS in this country and the vaccine is free to all who want it. Everyone is doing their bit by getting vaccinated, but could we make a wider contribution?

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"For those who can, it’s an ideal moment to support people living with under-resourced health systems across the world.” 

Prof Paul Hunter, from the UEA, has encouraged people to donate to the WHO's Covid-19 Response Fund

Prof Paul Hunter, from the UEA, has encouraged people to donate to the WHO's Covid-19 Response Fund - Credit: UEA

Professor Paul Hunter, a Covid-19 expert from the UEA's Medical School who specialises in infectious diseases, emphasised the importance of nations joining forces.

“We’ve got to work together as an international community," added Prof Hunter. "The UK has made a great contribution to vaccine development and identifying new variants.

"Now we need to get the vaccine out to all vulnerable people wherever they live in the world, to reduce deaths and the risk of new variants - which ultimately pose a risk to us all.” 

Nurse Maria Alexiou preparing a Covid-19 vaccination

Around 15 million Covid vaccine doses have been administered across the UK - Credit: Danielle Booden

Dr Smith has been joined by UEA colleagues Dr Naomi Wood, Prof Rebecca Stott, and illustrator Naomi Wilkinson, to launch a website and social media channels for the campaign. 

Visit the WHO website for more information about the Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund.

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