COVID-19 patients receive oxygen as they lie in their beds in the intensive care unit of a hospital in Machakos, Kenya, in August 2021.
(AP Photo/Brian Inganga)
A major lesson from the COVID-19 pandemic is the need to decolonize transnational governance so that the world is better able to handle both future and current global crises.
Only 15.8% of the population in low-income countries is double-dosed. Vaccine hoarding by high income countries is to blame.
A shipment of Covid vaccines sent to Sudan by the COVAX vaccine-sharing initiative, are unloaded in the capital Khartoum, October 6, 2021.
Ebrahim Hamid / AFP
From vaccines to treatments and even medical equipment, intellectual property rights have hampered the world’s efforts to fight the pandemic.
While people in the wealthy West have had preferred access to multiple rounds of vaccines, vast numbers of people, especially in Africa and on the Indian subcontinent, haven’t received a single dose.
In places with low vaccination rates, COVID-19 has the chance to linger, and variants develop and travel. Without global vaccine equity, this entirely predictable pattern will repeat itself.
The new variant is a warning: unless we take urgent action to correct global vaccine inequities, we risk the emergence of further variants, some of which may evade vaccines.
Employees at the Afrigen biotechnology company and Vaccine Hub facility at work in the manufacturing laboratory.
Rodger Bosch/AFP via Getty Images
Afrigen will be a technology transfer and training hub: it shares technology and develops skills specifically around how to produce a safe, effective and affordable mRNA vaccine.
Boxes containing Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine doses donated to COVAX by the US.
Aizar Raldes/AFP via Getty Images
Vaccine donations are unsustainable and often inefficient to scale. They are a temporary solution to a systemic issue.
A shipment of Covax doses arrive from the US in Timor L'este.
The vaccine-sharing initiative is still without its biggest donor – India – while rich countries are diverting spare doses towards youth and booster programmes.
A Bangladeshi man gets his jab.
AP Photo/Mahmud Hossain Opu
Each dose of Pfizer has a long and complex path involving mixing, storage at temperatures colder than the South Pole and specific protocols that must be followed before it becomes a jab.
If Australians won’t take the AstraZeneca vaccine, we must donate it to save lives elsewhere, especially while we queue-jump for more Pfizer doses.
Photo by Sharon Seretlo/Gallo Images via Getty Images
South Africa has clearly suffered the consequences of poor strategic decisions to this point. It doesn’t need to continue along these lines.
A shipment of COVID-19 vaccines supplied by COVAX, the vaccine-sharing programme, arriving in Timor Leste.
World leaders have called for an end to the pandemic – but the numbers don’t add up.
A COVID-19 field hospital in Santo Andre, Brazil. The pandemic has killed over 503,000 people in Brazil; just 11% of the population is fully vaccinated.
Mario Tama/Getty Images
The high costs of the world’s colossally unequal COVID-19 immunization rates.
Staff members work at a COVID-19 vaccine-producing plant of Sinovac in Beijing.
Zhang Yuwei/Xinhua via Getty
Local companies in Africa would find it very challenging to be cost-competitive in the longer run when the current worldwide scarcity of COVID-19 vaccines is overcome.
Xinhua / Alamy Stock Photo
Covax was doomed to failure from the start. It is already running into three major problems.
A ground crew member transports the COVID-19 vaccines from COVAX at Bole international airport in Addis Ababa.
Xinhua/Michael Tewelde via Getty Images
The inefficient vaccine allocation rules currently in place must be replaced by new cooperative institutional structures and more concrete steps by the Group of Twenty (G20) countries.
If there ever was a global health system, then it has gone sadly missing when we needed it most.
Scientific knowledge is a critical driver for human health and wellbeing, economic development and environmental sustainability.
Anita Anand, Canada’s minister of public services and procurement, opens a box with some of the first 500,000 of the two million AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada secured last March through a deal with the Serum Institute of India.
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio - POOL
Despite some public virtue signalling, the Canadian government is not doing all it can to improve global access to COVID-19 vaccines. Canada has yet to announce its position on the WTO patent waiver.
Increased demand and falling supplies in India risk leaving many countries empty handed.