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Is vaccine nationalism for global good?

Posted by Kingdavid Ozobodo on

Since the outbreak of the COVID pandemic, nations, organisations and even private individuals have all joined in the global search for a COVID vaccine. Many advancements have been made, with different discoveries at different stages of clinical trials. However, the needed breakthrough vaccine is yet to be discovered although many of the searches hold a lot of promise, with some already in advanced clinical trials stages. A vaccine is expected to surface hopefully by the end of this year or early in 2021.

Many governments are already making moves to live up to the responsibility of protecting the health of their citizens. Many of these countries are already making deals and pre buying Covid vaccines from companies carrying out research and promising clinical trials.

Canada for instance has secured up to 282 million doses of the most promising vaccines albeit none has been approved by the Canadian government. Last week, Canada signed an agreement to purchase 20 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine from AstroZeneca. There were already deals in place with Sanofi, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Novavax, Pfizer and Moderna.

This move is what many call VACCINE NATIONALISM although questions about equity are being raised by experts as to how justifiable it is for wealthy countries to secure vaccines against the virus while poorer countries grappling with economic challenges as a result of the pandemic and have slim chances of salvaging their economies, how much more securing the health of their populace.

So far, these premier league of vaccine nationalists have pre purchased more than half of the world's expected short supply of vaccines.

Alan Bernstein, President and CEO of CIFAR, a Canada based global research organisation, chief executive of the Canada-based global research organization CIFAR and a member of the Canadian Covid-19 Vaccine Task Force expressed optimism that an effective vaccine would be discovered although he worries that everyone won't have equal access to the vaccine. The obvious reason for that would be disparities in financial power.

Many researchers argue that wealthy countries should pledge much through the global COVAX effort, as they do domestically since the pandemic is a global affair and some countries are economically disadvantaged.

Also, the pandemic has shown that what affects one, affects the whole and so if the virus is anywhere, it is everywhere. The pandemic would only be truly over if everyone is vaccinated. This means countries with the means should look beyond borders and national interest and adopt a global view to fighting the pandemic by also supporting poor countries in securing vaccines and any other therapeutic solutions needed in the fight against the pandemic.
Canada Covid 19 vaccine nationalism

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