- Apprehensions surrounding the efficient and timely invention of vaccines to construct a protective shield against the debilitating effects of the raging novel coronavirus were addressed adequately with a slew of newer discoveries hitting the headline regularly. Huge applause to the scientific community for burning midnight’s oil while ensuring humanity is not found wanting in presenting more than adequate challenge during the face-off with the unknown and uncertain entity. As we speak, there is any number of vaccines out there amidst us which is proving to be extremely useful in shielding from the severity of the infection. Consequently, infected personnel requiring hospital admission and treatment too has reduced that much offering some relief in the bargain.
PC: Katie McCallum
- As is known, many of the developed countries, including the European and Western, who were well-positioned vis-à-vis resources, manpower, infrastructure, and determined commitment ensured they were first-off-the-block to invent vaccines. No wonder, those countries went about initiating measures to undertake vaccination drives with an express aim to inoculate all eligible citizens sooner than later. Despite the scientific community and government authorities unequivocally exhorting citizens to receive vaccines, millions of people from some of the most advanced countries were loath to join hands in the endeavor fearing unfounded and unscientific aftereffects. That’s another story altogether.
- Since the vaccination is premised based on voluntarily receiving one, none of the countries could force their citizens by fiat or making it mandatory. As can be seen, these so-called advanced countries are witnessing waves after waves of Covid infection amongst their populace on the back of new mutants and variants playing havoc with lives and livelihood. If the tale of the developed nations is one of abundance and availability, the poor and underdeveloped countries have a different story as procuring vaccines for undertaking drive is proving to be an onerous task on two fronts. One, inadequate financial heft to procure vaccines from the countries producing the same. Other, lack of resources to produce locally that would have ensured self-sufficiency to protect citizens from the vagaries of the dreaded virus.
- The divide between the have and have-nots are so stark that it underlines yet again how humanity continues to be plagued by inexplicable paradox despite the supposedly modern universe taking giant strides in search of extending level-playing field and equanimity for all. Now comes the news that some of the affluent countries are planning to introduce booster doses of vaccines to citizens having already received two recommended jabs. Such a move would be tantamount to protectionist measures serving self-interests’ by blocking millions of vaccines doses that could otherwise have gone to poor countries still in search of receiving at least a dose for its people.
- Is it foolhardy to expect rich countries to display altruism on the back of grave humanitarian crises staring us or does it only goes to further prove that when national interest is at stake, none would care to extend a helping hand for those who desperately seek one? No easy answers, I guess. This is not to belittle the efforts of many countries, including developed and developing, who have extended unstinted support, aid, assistance, and wherewithal to other less privileged countries right from the first day of the pandemic. However, some big-hearted measures like ensuring a steady supply of vaccines to these nations should have been par for the course move. Hopefully, some concrete measures on the lines would be forthcoming in the days ahead.