The coronavirus pandemic, which has been responsible for the death of more than 600,000 people up until now and which has imposed itself as a threat amongst millions and millions of people all across the globe is now of course a known menace. With that said of course, the hunt for a Covd-19 Vaccine has been on for quite an extensive period of time now – with estimates saying that there is still a bit of time to go before we’ll finally see it within markets and in use.
For now, as far as the current frontrunners to, this includes the likes of an mRNA vaccine stemming from Moderna – which happens to be a candidate vaccine from AstraZeneca and Oxford University; a Chinese vaccine from CanSigo Bilogisc and also, an mRNA-based vaccine from a German company going by the name of BioNTech.
While a candidate as far as the vaccine goes could indeed be approved this year, whether the Covd-19 Vaccine will point towards temporary or indeed long term immunity remains to be seen just now. It also of course remains to be seen so as to how many doses will in hindsight be required – because doubling the number of jabs, as you would imagine will just further go on to complicate the worldwide immunization efforts.
It is widely agreed by both bioethicists as well as public health experts that not only is it a challenge to make the vaccine in itself, but perhaps an even bigger challenge is the manufacturing of doses for eight billion people. And so, the inevitable question then pops up : who should get the Covd-19 Vaccine first?
In the US, committees have actually begun to form so as to enable the discussions in relation to such a tricky issue. Indeed an advisory committee of external health experts is going on to advise the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on an equitable framework.
Amongst the more challenging questions include whether pregnant women – who normally happen to be the last to receive a vaccine should be higher up on the list or whether or not black and Latino people – who are disproportionately affected by the virus should get the vaccine before the rest of the world population gets their hands on it.
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As you might imagine, the considerations that lead to global affairs are even more challenging. Indeed task forces have been subject to formation so as to come up with a “fair and equitable” framework between countries : unfortunately enough though, there remain to be numerous practical challenges.
It is only a plausible scenerio that some countries might actually end up having vaccines to spare, while others might not have access to them at all. And so with that said, some nations could indeed use the leverage they might have over such excess number of vaccines to call in a favor or two or indeed negotiate trade deals with countries in need of such.
The rise of black markets within different regions across the globe might then also be a problem to consider. Indeed if such circumstances do arise, the rich might jump the line and buy vaccines for themselves and their families.
Other experts have of course also popped up the question and the consideration that associates itself with the responsibility factor. The prime example of such is New Zealand. The country has done a great job in flattening the curve while countries such as Brazil are struggling to follow the same suite. And so the question comes forwards : should countries that have stamped out Covd-19 and have been responsible in doing so receive the vaccine last?
So who should get the vaccine first?
Well, some experts have suggested that health-workers should actually be prioritized. Once such workers are vaccinated inside hospitals, they can work without the worry of being infected themselves, and also, they wouldn’t be able to pass on the virus to for example such patients that visited the hospital for other reasons. Once such workers are vaccinated, the attention should be turned towards other essential workers – including the likes of the police, sanitation workers as well as those workers that are critical in maintaining the food supply that runs throughout the globe. Other experts have argued that people who are at most risk to the virus including vulnerable groups, the elderly and essential municipal workers should be on the receiving end of the vaccine first. Of course this gives a further rise to complications because of the sheer number of people around the globe who have some sort of chronic illness : and so in that case, who gets prioritized?
The whole situation gets even more difficult when we consider the concept of anti-vaxxers. Indeed if sufficient amount of people are not willing to volunteer the vaccine : should the government require for such groups or the general population to be vaccinated?
Indeed this point has been highlighted so as to reiterate the fact that many of us remain to be reluctant over the possibility of getting vaccinated. The prime example of global reluctance comes in the form of a survey carried out in France in which it was shown that 1 in very 3 people do not feel that vaccines are safe.
Therefore it is also important that governments come up with a plan to deal with such anti-vaxxers and the imposition of some hard rules might just be the solution to such a problem – those of which might include no travel via public transport if indeed the person is not vaccinated.
As you can see, it isn’t just the creation of the vaccine that is a huge challenge, it is how we deal with the end product once it comes that is an even bigger challenge. Diplomatic as well as public relations are huge factors to consider when taking into account the manner with which the vaccine might be spread out globally – and the consequences that go along with such decisions of course are not be invalidated.