David M. Osinski, a professor at New York University’s Grossman School of Medicine and author of “Polio: An American Story,” said: “The country’s political leadership does not consider this to be an American vaccine.”
“They think this is a vaccine made by American knowledge and American talent, and a gift to the world.”
That optimistic vision has never been fully realized: decades ago, polio was eradicated in many parts of the world, but wild transmission of polio occurred in a few countries. Offline for nearly 50 years, the tone has changed.
In the coronavirus pandemic that killed more than one million people, the vaccine race is becoming more and more urgent every day. But as the country shifts to “vaccination nationalism,”
Many public health experts warn that vaccines are best distributed based on need rather than nationality. Walter A. Orenstein, deputy director of the Emory University Vaccine Center, said: “It is in line with our health and safety to try to help other countries get rid of the covid-19 epidemic. However, the world seems to be moving in a different direction. .
On Monday, there was a gleam of hope for a return to normalcy: The US pharmaceutical company Pfizer announced that the coronavirus vaccine developed by the German biotech company BioNTech was more than 90% effective in preliminary trials.
Rich countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom, have invested millions of dollars in various vaccine trials. China and Russia have already begun to manage their own vaccines-health experts say the efficacy and safety of this vaccine are not yet clear.
The United States under President Trump says that sharing is not a priority. The Trump administration refused to join Covax. Covax is a global effort aimed at pooling funds to invest in candidate vaccines to develop, manufacture and distribute billions of vaccines fairly.
More than 150 countries including China have joined Covax, but many countries are pursuing their own plans in parallel. So far, rich countries have not had the proper mechanism to allocate their excess vaccine doses. President-elect Biden, who will assume the January office, did not say whether he will join the effort.
“The United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, and Canada have reached an agreement large enough to vaccinate the entire population. In contrast, concentrated efforts to distribute vaccines equitably to more than 150 countries, including 150 low-income countries, are only 700 million doses were obtained,” Slater wrote.
“From a historical point of view, what you see is actually not abnormal,” Said David Fiedler, a part-time senior researcher on cybersecurity and global health of the Council on Foreign Relations “I can’t think of a mechanism to distribute vaccines or medicines on a fair and shareable scale worldwide.”
In 2009, when the H1N1 virus known as swine flu swept the world, the United Nations urged rich countries to provide more vaccine doses to countries in need. Countries including the United States, Brazil and France have pledged to use 10% of their national reserves for UN vaccination work. But in October of that year, UN officials said this was not enough.
At the time, David Nabarro, the UN Coordinator for the United Nations’ fight against emerging influenza strains, said: “The challenge… is to build solidarity between rich and poor countries to ensure that adequate vaccines are provided.”
A few weeks later, the United States, facing an unexpected shortage, gave up its promise. To quote the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius (Kathleen Sebelius) said: “I can tell you that the current focus is to provide vaccines to citizens of this country. This is what we are doing 24/7.”
Another recent example tells a similar story: Inequality creates obstacles to vaccine-related cooperation. When the world scrambled to develop a vaccine against H5N1 or bird flu, the vaccine began to spread widely among humans in 2003. Some countries, including Indonesia, reported the most cases in the world in 2006. These countries have shared some virus sample affiliated laboratories with the World Health Organization. However, in 2007, Indonesia announced its “viral sovereignty” and announced that it would stop sharing samples after discovering that it had shared certain samples with non-WHO affiliated Australian laboratories without consent.
Indonesia argues that the samples it and other poorer countries that have been hit harder provide free of charge to laboratories are used by laboratories in richer countries to develop vaccines that will ultimately make Indonesia unaffordable.
“We cannot share [virus] Lily Sulistyowati, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Health, told Reuters that year.
For the H1N1 and H5N1 cases, the epidemic broke out before the vaccine became a necessity, and no fair sharing system was established. The crisis exposed the legacy of inequality, that the world has not yet corrected it through durable procedures or systems.
Fiedler said: “Public health is often the victim of its own success.” “The H1N1 crisis does show that some type of permanent mechanism needs to be established, so when the next pandemic comes, we don’t have to make anything temporary. But that’s what Covax means-it’s a temporary job.”