Vaccines Delayed are Vaccines Denied, July 20 (IPS) – “Vaccine equity is the challenge of our time,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), said in opening remarks . “And we are failing” at a special ministerial meeting of the Economic and Social Council.
Earlier, G7 leaders wrote a letter of support saying richer countries should pay the cost of immunizing low- and middle-income countries.
Vaccines Delayed are Vaccines Denied. The United States has announced that it will donate 500 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine to COVAX to deliver doses of the COVID vaccine to countries in need. In addition, several countries have pledged to support a waiver of intellectual property restrictions, which could allow countries to produce the vaccine generically to boost production and supply.
Although these are essential steps in the right direction, a global system in which poor countries are unable to develop and produce their own vaccines to meet their demand is not sustainable; especially when faced with potential future pandemics. Vaccines Delayed are Vaccines Denied
Strict measures, with global solidarity and a commitment to strengthen global equity in vaccines and to ensure that the last person receives the vaccine in rich and poor countries alike before the next global health crisis is the need of the moment. It is a time when internationalism trumps nationalism, and globalism works better than local.
Globally, there are indiscriminate inequalities in vaccine supply and distribution, which have affected countries in Asia and Africa the most. According to the World Health Organization, of the 832 million doses of vaccine that were administered, 82% went to high- and upper-middle-income countries, while only 0.2% were shipped to countries low income.
According to a United Nations report, in high-income countries alone, 1 in 4 people have been vaccinated, a ratio that drops sharply to 1 in 500 in low-income countries.
This inequitable access to vaccines is rooted in the power, influence and control of a few wealthy countries that determined vaccine allocation. From the start, despite COVAX’s commitment to immunize the world’s population, Western countries developed vaccines separately, in bulk, more than what was needed, hoarded and vaccinated all, including their young, who are considered less at risk. Vaccines Delayed are Vaccines Denied.
Citizens of low-income countries faced a shortage, even those at risk of COVID-19. As a result, many countries have been left behind.
Vaccines Delayed are Vaccines Denied, In southern countries, countries hailed and celebrated the “noble” decision of rich countries to donate overstock vaccines. However, we need to take a step back to understand why countries need donations in the first place.
Our struggle to access vaccines is not a consequence of our current shortcomings but of our long histories – many of which are fraught with the legacy of violent colonialism. If poor countries have to rely on donated vaccines, it is a sign that the global health system is not working. Global Health has failed in this pandemic.
It’s not just about buying doses. A painful history of unequal power relations has shifted resources from low- and middle-income countries to their high-income counterparts.
We are fighting against a persistent lack of support for the infrastructure that allows countries of the South to independently lead scientific development. In addition, our material resources and human capital have supported the economies of the North for decades.
Vaccines Delayed are Vaccines Denied This is exacerbated by the problem of the brain drain, in which talent is drawn from low- and middle-income countries to their high-income counterparts, perpetuating dependency and inequality. For example, it is estimated that researchers working internationally in low-income countries produce 10 times more patents than their compatriots at home.
Scientific and health sovereignty are strategic drivers of equitable access to health.
Rich countries are often praised for aid and giving – progress can be made when we move from charity to rights-based models.
To support development efforts, international cooperation and collaboration that enable countries to need international cooperation that enhances local capacities and expertise, enables national infrastructure and retains talent to generate innovation at home. them is crucial. These are human rights, social justice and equity.
In the short term, developing countries need to be able to produce and access vaccines equitably. This includes relaxing the World Trade Organization’s trade-related access to international property rights to allow countries to produce vaccines locally.
In the long term, international collaboration between nations is urgent. For example, the Sputnik-V vaccine program in Argentina involves cooperation between the Gamaleya Institute, the Russian Investment Fund and a national pharmaceutical laboratory, Richmond Lab, to develop and produce vaccines for Argentina and the Southern Cone. . This type of cooperation is strategic for expanding vaccine production and increasing technological investments in developing countries.
Vaccines Delayed are Vaccines Denied Regional cooperation will strengthen the health and technology sectors in developing countries. In recent months, AstraZeneca vaccines have been produced between Argentina, which produces the active substance in the product, and Mexico, which subsequently supplements and bottles the doses.
COVID is a global threat today. There will be more serious threats in the future. As we move forward, the lesson of the crisis does not go in vain. Together, in solidarity, we can each do our part to advance our common vision of a fair world. It took an extraordinary effort to develop the vaccine. Reimagining global health should be about the deliberate intention to have this vaccine in the last person. Vaccines Delayed are Vaccines Denied.
Jonatan konafino MD, MSc, PhD is Senior Atlantic Fellow for Health Equity and Professor of Public Health at Universidad Nacional Arturo Jauretche and George Washington University. Health Secretary of the Municipality of Quilmes, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Shubha Nagesh is a doctor of medicine by training and a consultant in global health. She is currently working for the Latika Roy Foundation, Dehradun, India. She is Senior Atlantic Fellow in Global Health Equity. Vaccines Delayed are Vaccines Denied.
© Inter Press Service (2021) – All rights reservedOriginal source: Inter Press Service
Vaccines Delayed are Vaccines Denied