By Quentin Choy
April 26, 2021
In the U.S., many Americans are receiving their second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. I have received mine about 20 minutes before I sat down to write this.
Simultaneously, Japan has vaccinated just over 1% of its population, raising concerns over the country’s ability to host the Olympics in the summer. In Argentina, 23,683 cases were recorded in a 24-hour period.
India reported a staggering 300,000 daily cases in the last five days. COVID-19 ravages India so hard that mass cremations are becoming commonplace as medical equipment, healthcare services, and even oxygen for dying patients are in high demand and dangerously low supply. Mass cremations are becoming so widespread, that officials in Delhi are getting requests to chop down trees in city parks to fuel the cremations.
The Biden administration has tepidly and vaguely announced a plan to share some of America’s stock of the AstraZeneca vaccine with India in a call with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, according to The Hindustan Times.
In a statement from The White House:
President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. spoke today with Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India, committing that the United States and India will work closely together in the fight against COVID-19. The President pledged America’s steadfast support for the people of India who have been impacted by the recent surge in COVID-19 cases. In response, the United States is providing a range of emergency assistance, including oxygen-related supplies, vaccine materials, and therapeutics. Prime Minister Modi expressed appreciation for the strong cooperation between both countries. The two leaders resolved that the United States and India will continue to stand shoulder-to-shoulder in the effort to protect our citizens and the health of our communities.Readout of President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. Call with Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India
In the United States, 69 out of every 100 Americans have received a vaccine. However, in Argentina, just 16 out of every 100 Argentines have received a vaccine, allowing cases to continue increasing. In Japan, 2.1 out of every 100 Japanese have received a vaccine, and in India, only 10 out of every 100 Indians have received a vaccine.
While first world nations are quickly beginning to recover from the pandemic and vaccinating their populations, the pandemic rages on in the developing world, where leaders are urging developed nations to suspend patents on vaccines so that they can be distributed worldwide.
In a recent piece I wrote, “Two Humanitarian Crises Happening in America’s Own Backyard,” Latin American leaders are urging western nations to suspend COVID-19 vaccine patents so that Latin American nations can begin recovering as well.
The World Health Organization has declared that worldwide, this is the worst point of the pandemic so far.
The solution is simple. Developed nations need to suspend the patents on these vaccines so that they can be distributed worldwide, vaccinating the majority of the global population and allowing for life to return fully back to normal. The vaccine is no good if it only works in America because whenever you travel, it would be like re-entering the world pre-vaccine.
This is not the time to protect the interests of corporations and vaccine manufacturers. The vaccine must be distributed worldwide before variants mutate even more and before cases take an even more devastating toll on the developing world.
Image Courtesy of Reuters.