Global funds want even spread of COVID jab

·1-min read

Investment funds are urging the world's richest nations to ensure there is equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines among developing countries.

Australia's industry superannuation fund for the health and community services sector, HESTA, has joined this global push, saying uneven vaccination rates pose a risk to global health and economic activity in 2021.

Hesta has signed up to a global investor statement which calls on G7 and G20 governments - which includes Australia - to address uneven vaccination rates globally and make funding commitments to support vaccines, medicines and testing.

"As an investor, we're pleased to join with other global investors to support a strong global response to COVID-19 in the year ahead," Hesta chief executive Debby Blakey said in a statement on Wednesday.

"Ensuring developing economies have equal access to COVID vaccines, medicines and tests will reduce the impact of COVID-19 worldwide, and help foster a fairer and more sustainable global recovery."

A study by the International Chamber of Commerce Research Foundation found the global economy stands to lose as much as $US9.2 trillion ($A11.6 trillion) if the COVID-19 vaccines are not widely available in developing countries.

Ms Blakey said the global finance industry had an important role to play in supporting the global effort to distribute vaccines.

"We're keen to work with other global investors to explore ways we can encourage further investment that will help fund vaccine distribution."