Our Supplier of the Week is Intrepid Travel which has recently launched a fundraising and advocacy campaign aimed at supporting global vaccine equity.
With current data showing less than 1% of COVID-19 vaccine doses have been delivered to low-income countries, the company believes vaccine equity is essential to restarting the global travel industry.
Via its non-profit The Intrepid Foundation, Intrepid has committed to raising AUD $100,000 for UNICEF Australia to support universal access to COVID-19 vaccines. Meanwhile, its teams around the world are working to provide easier access to vaccines for tourism workers and their families in remote communities and educating staff to help resolve vaccine hesitancy.
“Intrepid was founded on ideals of inclusivity and equality and we’re very concerned about the unequal access to vaccines around the world. Ending the pandemic is not only about you and your vaccine,” says James Thornton, Intrepid Travel CEO.
“We believe that for travel to return, we need global vaccine equity. Our campaign aims to support fair and equal access to vaccinations, in every country around the world.”
Intrepid’s teams have been taking practical steps to help support access to and participation in vaccines – examples include:
- Paid vaccination leave to make it easier for all staff globally to receive vaccinations as soon as they’re eligible to do so.
- In Peru, Intrepid has been advocating for vaccine equality for remote communities, and has been providing free transport to people living in the remote Sacred Valley to help them access a major vaccination hub in Ollantaytambo. Its team has also lobbied local government to open a vaccination hub in Calca, where many Inca Trail porters live. At the start of July 2021, none of the porters that Intrepid contracts on treks had been vaccinated. By the end of July, 80% had received at least one dose.
- In Sri Lanka, to help address vaccine hesitancy, the company hosted an information and Q&A session with a Professor Neelika Malavige, a member of the World Health Organization’s technical advisory committee and a member of the executive Committee of the International Society of Infectious Diseasesand National Covid vaccine Committee.
To support the safe reopening of tourism, Intrepid has introduced mandatory vaccination* for all travellers and tour leaders from 1 September 2021. This vaccination policy overlays a comprehensive health and safety approach, which follows all local regulations and requirements.
Intrepid is also asking its community to support UNICEF Australia’s Vaccinaid campaign by donating to ‘Give the World a Shot’ via The Intrepid Foundation. One hundred per cent of donations given to The Intrepid Foundation will go to supporting UNICEF’s work delivering Covid-19 vaccines to some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged countries around the world.
UNICEF is leading the largest vaccine procurement and supply operation in history as part of the Global COVAX Facility, which aims to see two billion vaccine doses delivered in 190 countries to those who need them most by the end of 2021 and one billion syringes procured and delivered by the end of 2021. UNICEF is the largest procurer and distributor of vaccines globally, and already vaccinates one in every two children in the world.
“As we are dealing with a global health crisis, we need to work together more than we ever have before to vaccinate the world,” said UNICEF Australia CEO Tony Stuart.
“We cannot leave any community or country behind in this history-making mission; everyone has a role to play and that is why Intrepid’s partnership and support as a member of the COVID Vaccination Alliance of UNICEF Australia is vital in helping to achieve vaccine equity.”
*Excludes Australia, NZ and Cook Islands due to the very low risk environment due to strict government lockdowns and other restrictions, including on travel.