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News Forum - Vaccine inequity means inoculation rate is still below 10% in over 55 countries


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More than 55 countries have fewer than 10% of their populations vaccinated against Covid-19, the result of vaccine inequity that has yet to be adequately addressed. The Covax programme, created to ensure equity in global vaccine distribution, has been hit by production delays, export bans, and rich countries protecting their own first, according to a Nation Thailand report. Bruce Aylward from the World Health Organisation says wealthier nations that already have enough vaccines must donate more doses and sooner. “Manufacturers are making a choice not to ship to Covax, and high-income countries are making a choice not to get sufficient […]

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Perhaps Nation Thailand should first create a report tackling the subject why donated vaccines have been ready for shipment for more than a month, while Thailand is playing games to delay the matter.

And specifically for Thailand they might mention that the country knowingly refused to join Covax.

Blaming others again are we?


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I've been of two minds about this since it first became a topic of conversation.

First, these are people we are talking about not countries or percentages. People who for no fault of their own were born into countries with corrupt leaders who steal from those least able to afford it, skim off profits from the sale of natural resources (thank you Exxon), and engage in lying and disinformation to keep those people in "their place". So, yeah, the richer countries of the world have a duty and an ethical obligation to get vaccines to as many people of the world as possible. But they also have a duty to make sure none of those vaccines get skimmed off into the black market or targeted to friends and cronies.

Second, why are there vaccines even available? Because the richer countries of the world invested in (or stole, thank you China) the infrastructure, scientific research, and manufacturing capability to make that happen. So, yeah, you make the effort, you get first dibs.

But what happens if the WHO had gotten its way and vaccines were perfectly and equitably distributed from the get-go? As of right now, fewer than everybody in the world would have gotten one shot. Whether Pfantastic Pfizer or Macho Moderna or Amazing AZ or even So-so Sino; just one shot.

So that equitable distribution wouldn't have done much at all to blunt the pandemic other than making rich nations feel even better about themselves. Maybe some lives that were lost wouldn't have been, but at the same time people who have been saved by the vaccines would have died. However, somebody who got their shot in January would still be waiting for their second shot.

Going forward, there is a need to get more vaccines out there as quickly as possible, but that doesn't necessarily mean "fast". It takes time to transfer intellectual property - even in a perfect world - and vaccine factories are not found on Alibaba or Amazon. This stuff takes time.

The WHO seems to ignore the reality of the situation in their quest for equity and don't even mention the difficulties of doing what they ask. But is it better to have everybody half-vaxxed or large blocks of fully vaxxed people? I've not seen anything discussing that and probably won't because we're unable to discuss difficult subjects. The best we can do is whine about how unfair it all is.

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