As of 18 February 130 countries had not received a single coronavirus vaccine dose.
The UN has criticised the “wildly uneven and unfair” distribution of Covid vaccines, revealing that 10 countries with the money to buy them have administered 75% of all vaccinations, while 130 countries have not received a single dose.
The UN secretary general, António Guterres, called for an urgent global vaccination plan to ensure more equitable distribution, saying: “At this critical moment, vaccine equity is the biggest moral test before the global community”. (The Guardian 18 Feb 2021).
My comment: I would be a total hypocrite if I uttered a bleeding heart comment on this, claiming that I supported sharing the available vaccines around the world according to percentage of needy people per nation. I am very lucky, along with my wife, to have had our two vaccinations. But I shall not quickly forget my own acute anxiety about vaccination (or lack of it) because of the chaotic and ill-thought-out system of our local government. I was nervous about it for weeks. Self-interest took over. Was that wicked? My answer is – it is human.
Is it more moral to ship all available vaccines to, say, Africa, leaving our own population to take its chances? Mmmmmmh. What I do know is that America, Britain and other “advanced” countries have developed the science, technical education and production techniques to be able to create this miracle, and the fact is that there would be no vaccines without our dollars and pounds and our scientific expertise.
On this matter I don’t feel it necessary to beat my fellow citizens up at all. Once the vulnerable populations are fully protected and production is fully ramped up, then we should ship vaccines all over the world to whoever needs them. Use my tax dollars to subsidize this or send the stuff free, by all means. But I think the UN secretary general is being unfair, or at least unrealistic.