The industry superannuation fund for the health and community services sector has pledged support for equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines worldwide, saying uneven vaccination rates pose a risk to global health and economic activity in 2021.
HESTA is among the first Australian super funds to sign an investor statement pushing for urgent government action.
The statement calls on G7 and G20 governments to address uneven vaccination rates globally and make funding commitments to support investment in Covid-19 vaccines, medicines and testing.
HESTA has also committed to exploring innovative investment approaches that will harness the potential for the global finance industry to support the push for greater access to vaccines.
The $60 billion industry fund will also seek – through its engagement advisers – to engage with healthcare companies to push for further action to ensure a fair and equitable global distribution of vaccines.
“As the super fund for the health and community services sector, HESTA strongly supports fair and equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines and medicines globally,” says HESTA CEO Debby Blakey.
“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.
“We’ve all seen the incredible work our frontline healthcare workers in Australia and around the world have done throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Their individual efforts need to be supported by a strong global response to Covid to ensure that access to vaccination or treatment isn’t determined by what country you live in or how wealthy you are,” says Ms Blakey.
According to Ms Blakey a successful and equitable global distribution of vaccines will have an impact on the pace of economic recovery and, therefore, HESTA members’ investments.