Every rich and powerful nation is vaccinating their own people ignoring poor nations and thus causing more deaths
On September 16, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that as the coronavirus that causes Covid-19 respects no borders, vaccines must be seen as a global public good, affordable and available to all.
Little over two months later on December 18, he told the German Parliament that vaccines for Covid-19 belong to the people.
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said on December 9 that States need to distribute these vaccines equitably all over the world. She tagged the availability of the vaccines to everyone with universal human rights.
On November 9, UN human rights experts issued a statement saying that universal access to vaccines is essential for prevention and containment of Covid-19 around the world.
Unfortunately, it appears that some Governments have undertaken to secure vaccines for their citizens only, they said, adding that isolationist health policies and procurement are in contradiction with international human rights standards.
Many others and rights bodies have joined the hierarchies of the UN calling for ensuring universal access to vaccines. They also voiced their opposition to stockpiling vaccines that would cause loss of lives in poor countries.
But, almost all the rich and powerful countries did not pay any heed to these calls. Without ignoring the minimal need of the poor nations, they have already rolled out vaccines for their people. That is not all. These rich and powerful nations harbored vaccines that runs counter to the notion — help each other.
Based on their attitude, one can be forgiven to conclude that the rich and powerful countries will not allow the poor nations to have vaccines until their requirements are completely met. This simply means more deaths due to the apparent refusal of these countries to undertake an equitable distribution approach.
Now, the questions are: Is this approach in line with the fulfillment of the international human rights obligations? Does it reflects multilateralism something the developed and powerful countries preach? The answer is a big no. One must practice what he or she preaches. Otherwise, the concept of multilateralism will take a big hit, affecting other geopolitical aspects.
It is an undeniable fact that every country wants to ensure the health of its own people first. But, in a globalized world, one has to think about the others. What the vaccine-rolling countries can do now is to vaccinate their most vulnerable people and help the poor nations vaccinate at least their front line workers to fight the deadly disease. And, when more vaccines will be available, it will have to be ensured that money does not become an obstacle to procuring necessary amount of vaccines.
It is quite certain that it is not too much to ask.
- South Africa hopes to begin virus vaccinations next month [http://www.seychellesnewsagency.com/articles/14127/South+Africa+hopes+to+begin+virus+vaccinations+next+month]
- Government’s vaccine rollout plan lacks detail: Nehawu [https://www.enca.com/news/Government%27s%20vaccine%20roll-out%20plan%20lacks%20detail%3A%20Nehawu]
- Bangladesh will get COVID vaccine in time, says Beximco official [https://bdnews24.com/health/2021/01/04/bangladesh-will-get-covid-vaccine-in-time-says-beximco-official]
- Britain to roll out AstraZeneca shots [https://asiatimes.com/2021/01/britain-to-roll-out-astrazeneca-shots/]
- 33 million Thais to be COVID-19 vaccinated for free in 2021 [https://coconuts.co/bangkok/news/33-million-thais-to-be-covid-19-vaccinated-for-free-in-2021/]
- 2 out of 5 Hong Kong youth say no to COVID-19 vaccine: Survey [https://coconuts.co/hongkong/news/2-out-of-5-hong-kong-youth-say-no-to-covid-19-vaccine-survey/]
- Britain to roll out AstraZeneca shots as virus vaccinations gather pace [https://www.rfi.fr/en/britain-to-roll-out-astrazeneca-shots-as-virus-vaccinations-gather-pace]
- Coronavirus updates: Dr. Anthony Fauci says 100M vaccine shots is ‘realistic goal’ in first 100 days of Joe Biden’s presidency [https://eu.usatoday.com/story/news/health/2021/01/04/covid-news-california-texas-us-deaths-350-k/4120523001/]
- Thailand to receive first 200,000 Sinovac COVID-19 vaccines in Feb [http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/14081259]
- Vaccine hesitancy rises in Indonesia amid COVID-19 pandemic [https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/1/4/vaccine-hesitancy-rises-in-indonesia-amid-covid-19-pandemic]
- Enough stockpile of Covid vaccine for priority groups in first phase: Paul [https://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/enough-stockpile-of-covid-vaccine-for-priority-groups-in-first-phase-paul-121010400447_1.html]
- UK rolls out Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine as it battles against Covid surge [https://www.cnbc.com/2021/01/04/uk-rolls-out-astrazeneca-oxford-vaccine.html]
- China Reports Tens Of Thousands Inoculated In First Days Of COVID-19 Vaccine Campaign [https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2021/01/04/953144369/china-reports-tens-of-thousands-inoculated-in-first-days-of-covid-19-vaccine-cam]
- Covishield vs Covaxin: How do they stack up against each other? [https://www.udayavani.com/english-news/covishield-vs-covaxin-how-do-they-stack-up-against-each-other]
- SII Gets DCGI Permission To Manufacture Its Coronavirus Vaccine ‘Covishield’ [https://pragativadi.com/sii-gets-dcgi-permission-to-manufacture-its-coronavirus-vaccine-covishield/]
- COVID-19 vaccine updates in Pakistan and around the world [https://www.samaa.tv/news/2021/01/covid-19-vaccine-updates-in-pakistan-and-around-the-world/]
- India approves two vaccines as nations race towards inoculation [https://www.samaa.tv/news/2021/01/india-approves-two-vaccines-as-nations-race-towards-inoculation/]
- S. Korea starts evaluation for AstraZeneca ̔s COVID-19 vaccine : ARIRANG [https://www.arirang.com/News/News_View.asp?nseq=270256]
- Vietnam seeks to buy 30 million doses of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine from UK [https://e.vnexpress.net/news/news/vietnam-seeks-to-buy-30-million-doses-of-astrazeneca-s-covid-19-vaccine-from-uk-4215939.html]
- Covaxin: Concern over ‘rushed’ approval for India Covid jab [https://report.az/en/health/covaxin-concern-over-rushed-approval-for-india-covid-jab/]
- COVID-19 vaccine to arrive Nigeria end of January — PTF [https://www.newsheadlines.com.ng/tribune-newspaper/2021/01/04/covid-19-vaccine-to-arrive-nigeria-end-of-january-ptf/]
- US wants to halve the dose of Noubar Afeyan’s Moderna to speed up coronavirus vaccination in country [https://news.am/eng/news/622101.html]
- Experts question COVID-19 vaccine rollout plans [https://www.enca.com/news/experts-question-covid-19-vaccine-rollout-plans]
- Roughly 6–7,000 vaccinated in Finland – EU disappointed with vaccine deliveries [https://www.helsinkitimes.fi/finland/finland-news/domestic/18499-roughly-6-7-000-vaccinated-in-finland-eu-disappointed-with-vaccine-deliveries.html]
- Health Minister: Bangladesh to get Indian vaccines on time [https://www.dhakatribune.com/bangladesh/foreign-affairs/2021/01/04/health-minister-bangladesh-to-get-indian-vaccines-on-time]
- DCGI Okays Bharat Biotech, Serum Institute Vaccine Candidates for ‘Emergency Use’ [https://thewire.in/health/bharat-biotech-serum-institute-vaccines-approved-restricted-emergency-use-covishield-covaxin]