Covid-19 vaccine nationalism and equity
When will we get a widely usable Covid19 vaccine? It’s been a big topic for discussion this week. On Wednesday, US President Donald Trump said it would be out by mid-October, not coincidently before the presidential election. That’s not what the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say. Its earliest estimate for vaccine readiness is middle to late 2021. Meanwhile, on Tuesday, experts in China said they will have a vaccine ready for public use as early as this November. Both China and Russia have already tested vaccines on people designated as belonging to “high risk” groups, including medical and military personnel. Early this week, the United Arab Emirates became the first country to approve one of the China-produced vaccines for emergency use. So, the race is clearly on and political pressures are playing a big role. On Thursday, Oxfam published a report showing that rich nations have already snapped up more than half of the promised output of the five leading vaccine contestants, leaving poorer countries to wait longer. To talk about the tensions between “vaccine nationalism” and health equity, especially at times like this is Yeoh Eng-kiong, Director of The Jockey Club School of Public Health & Primary Care at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
Also in part two, virologist, David Ho, microbiologist Sridhar Siddharth and Kate Elder, Médecins Sans Frontières' senior vaccines policy advisors on Covid-19 vaccine nationalism and equity.