As WHO warns against vaccine nationalism, what it really is
New Delhi, Aug 07: WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Friday against vaccine nationalism saying wealthier nations can not remain safe if poor nations remain exposed to coronavirus.
"For the world to recover faster, it has to recover together", said Ghebreyesus.
A nationalistic stance toward this kind of pandemic will only prolong the global health and economic crisis.
What is Vaccine nationalism
Vaccine nationalism occurs when a country manages to secure vaccine doses for its own citizens even while the vaccines are in developing phases.
Pre-purchase agreements between a country's government and a vaccine manufacturer lead to the procedure.
When they should work together, a number of countries are taking a 'my nation first' approach to developing and distributing potential vaccines.
How vaccine nationalism can backfire
This 'vaccine nationalism' comes in between while reducing virus transmission globally.
If countries with a large number of cases lag in obtaining the vaccine and other medicines, the disease will continue to disrupt globally.
It will affect the supply chains and therefore economies around the world.
Is it new?
Vaccine nationalism is not new. In 2009, during H1N1 flu pandemic, some of the wealthiest countries entered into pre-purchase agreements with several pharmaceutical companies working on the following vaccines.
According to the reports, the US government already has inquired about the possibility of securing exclusive rights over the CureVac COVID-19 vaccine.
Experts in epidemiology, virology should take the lead in devising and implementing science-based strategies in distributing the vaccine once it will get ready.
Countries should remember that it is the virus, not each other, that is our foe.