Global racism: No Covid-19 vaccine for poor countries

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As the UK and other European countries engage in a bitter fight for the lion’s share of available covid-19 vaccines, and here in the UK there continues to be deep cynicism by some Black Asian and minority ethnic individuals whether or not to take the vaccine, the poorest countries around the world, according to the World Health organization (WHO) are being completely and utterly excluded from getting any vaccines at all.

In a speech that should shame western and other wealthy governments made by the WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and barely covered by the UK press, he laid the shameful facts bare;

More than 39 million doses of vaccine have now been administered in at least 49 higher-income countries. Just 25 doses have been given in one of the lowest-income countries. Not 25 million; not 25,000; just 25.”

General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director General

He went on to add, “I need to be blunt: the world is on the brink of a catastrophic moral failure – and the price of this failure will be paid with lives and livelihoods in the world’s poorest countries.”

And we all know that some of the world’s poorest countries will be on the continent of Africa, while other deeply impoverished nations include Haiti, in the Caribbean and Afghanistan and Tajikistan in Central Asia.

Towards the end of the last a global NGO group called the People’s Vaccine Alliance stated that:

At least 90% of people in 67 low-income countries stand little chance of getting vaccinated against covid-19 in 2021 because wealthy nations have reserved more than they need and developers will not share their intellectual property, says the People’s Vaccine Alliance, which includes Amnesty International, Frontline AIDS, Global Justice Now, and Oxfam.

“Unless something changes dramatically, billions of people around the world will not receive a safe and effective vaccine for covid-19 for years to come,” said Anna Marriott, Oxfam’s health policy manager.

The question is, which international governing body will ensure moral equity in the deliverance of Covid Vaccines, or will it be a case of we only care about black and brown people dying when everything is okay here?

One thing that is clear is that covid-19 has not only laid bare deep seated structural inequalities within our western nation states, but as we find a mechanism to recovery the global fault lines of the rich and poor become every glaring as vaccines are fought over by the rich nations as the poor ones get nothing.

Simon Woolley

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