The Covid-19 vaccine: a “global public good” or only for the United States? – World Affairs

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Article by Maria Starostina

Worldwide, there have been more than five million confirmed cases of covid-19. On the same day, WHO reported another sad record: 106,000 new coronavirus infections worldwide.

Only for the rich?

The global race for the covid-19 vaccine is against the clock. The United States of America claims to be in the process of creating it, but according to media reports, it will not share it with the countries that need it most. Washington has refused to sign the WHO resolution on the rights of the poorest nations to obtain the vaccine without purchasing the patent, reports the Financial Times.

In the World Health Organization, they stress that the distribution of the future coronavirus vaccine must be “fair”. In giving an ultimatum to this international institution, U.S. President Donald Trump suggests that the concerns of African diplomats (cited by FT), which they consider will not give them access to this discovery, are more than justified.
“If the World Health Organization does not engage in further substantial improvements in the next 30 days, I will make the temporary suspension of the United States’ contribution to the WHO permanent and reconsider our membership of the organization,” Trump said in a letter. .

“A public good”

The vaccine has not yet been produced in any country, but it is already causing much controversy. The issue of priority access to this drug was the cause of a scandal in France. In an interview with Bloomberg, the president of the pharmaceutical company Sanofi, Paul Hudson, said that “the North American government will have the right to place the largest previous orders for the possible vaccine, since it has invested heavily and has taken many risks”.

These statements have been severely criticized by the French authorities. The minister for economic affairs, Angès Pannier-Runacher, was the first to react: “For us, privileged access to this or that country would be unacceptable, on a pecuniary pretext”.

The French president, Emmanuel Macron, replied with a strong statement: “The coronavirus vaccine will be a public good, outside the laws of the market”. German Chancellor Angela Merkel still insisted in early May that this discovery should be “for everyone”.

Stop the pandemic

For José María Molero García, a member of the covid-19 working group at the Spanish Ministry of Health, the vaccine is the only way to stop the spread of coronavirus worldwide. “Treatment is one thing: we can find some more or less effective treatments, but [solo con quello] we will not avoid contagion. Pandemic control is there, “says the doctor.

The vaccine must be shared with all countries because the epidemic knows no boundaries

“Everyone has reasons to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Starting with the countries where the virus circulates more, because they have the best chance of getting infected,” says Molero García, adding that the next ones in service should be nations with low status socio-economic, therefore avoid exaggerated mortality rates.
“The vaccine must be shared with all countries because the epidemic knows no boundaries”, highlights the specialist. In addition, he recalled the case of African countries that have not received AIDS drugs for decades, while more developed nations have had them for a long time.

A race in progress

In early April, there were 20 projects worldwide to obtain a covid-19 vaccine. Currently, around 110 investigations are in the preclinical phase and eight in the clinical phase, with human tests, according to data collected by the World Health Organization for May 15.

Massachusetts-based company Moderna Inc. announced the positive results of its clinical trials of the coronavirus mRNA-1273 vaccine on Monday. Together with this American company, companies from China, France, Germany and Russia, among other countries, participate in the biotechnology competition.





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