Vaccine nationalism undermines global recovery

These times are hard. On the one hand, the coronavirus continues to bare its killer claws, on the other hand, the whole medical system is proving useless. People are dying due to lack of oxygen, ventilators are not working at full capacity and there is a shortage of beds in hospitals. Everyone knows that the second Kovid wave is in the corner, but the government’s focus is elsewhere. In the midst of death, a question arises: when do people get vaccinated? With so much frustration, you have to wait twice as long for it. The United States has seized the materials needed to make the vaccine.

This is what the US has been calling the world as a global village until recently. It has also been supported by other rich countries. This vaccine is dangerous for nationalism developing countries. This may seem strange today, but a decade before the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, people are still protesting, but whose goal is to get less labor from developing countries. When labor became more expensive in Europe and the US, multinational companies in the West tended mainly towards China. The most populous country in the world is desperate to get out of poverty. Under the US leadership, when various European countries proposed to set up their factories in China, despite the left-wing rule, it wholeheartedly welcomed the idea. It was surprising that communism and capitalism came together.

Today, China has become a direct competitor to America. Experts who witnessed this feud ushered it into the Second Cold War. Before this could happen, the Wuhan-emerging virus had rocked the world. Before our eyes, the coronavirus has been wiped out on every continent. Businesses were shut down, border trade had to be stopped and socialization became rare. The long lockdown has broken globalization, making it the lone savior of half the world at the turn of the century. The good people still thought that this disease would soon be over, but because of their great nature they forgot that there is no God in this changing world.

The US and UK have booked a large number of vaccines for themselves in the rush. According to British Medical Journal, Booked US $ 800 million doses with six companies. In addition to this agreement, they have regulations for one billion doses. If you do not know, the U.S. population is about 330 million. There are regulations for more vaccines than they need. Britain did the same. It arranged five doses per citizen. This trend has been shown to be detrimental to poverty-stricken countries in Africa as well as our own developing country.

India’s population is said to be 1.35 billion, but that’s an old number. If we go through this data, to vaccinate 70% of people, we need a higher dose than US regulations do.

The vaccine is only useful when given in two doses, but how is it possible? Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s active initiative Two companies in India started making vaccines months ago. The U.S. has limited the amount of material needed for the Serum Institute of India (SII) to develop a life-saving vaccine. SII CEO Aadhaar Poonawala politely asked US President Joe Biden to provide, but no reply has been received yet. Superpowers like the US know how to establish control. They stopped providing supportive aid years ago.

The World Health Organization (WHO), let us hope that the Government of India can bring effective pressure. Meanwhile, Bharat Biotech has announced that it has increased manufacturing with the help of the central government. This is a positive step, but experts believe it could take months to deliver the required doses. Do we have time?

It’s not just about the vaccine. Patients need oxygen, hospitals and ventilators. Last week, Modi addressed the nation and assured that he would give utmost priority to this process. It would be great if Western countries could benefit from less labor from our county, but they are reluctant to move the needle. Given this situation, the WHO estimates that only 37 countries will achieve the vaccine target. We will have to wait until the end of 2022. If 84 other poor countries reach this goal by next year too, it will be considered a success.

In these difficult times, we want the height of vation in a tragedy. Not only poor and developing countries will have to bear this loss. The International Chamber of Commerce estimates that the global economy could face losses of up to $ 9.2 trillion if developing countries do not receive the required doses of the vaccine. Developed countries also lost most of their middle class. The same middle class that continues the greatness of Western nations with its efforts.

You would be surprised to know that it costs only $ 25 billion to provide vaccines to poor countries. With the help of rich countries, the looming danger can be avoided.

WHO Chief Dr Tedros Adhanam Ghebreas rightly said that without vaccinations for poor and middle-income countries, it would be impossible to get the world economy back on track because the virus would continue to kill people. That is why the use of the vaccine for the benefit of mankind is for the benefit of all nations of the world.

We can not disagree with the statement of the WHO Chief: the priority is to vaccinate some people in all countries rather than the people in some countries.

Don’t the most powerful countries in the world understand such a simple thing?

Shashi Shekhar Editor-in-Chief, Hindustan. The views expressed are personal.

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