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The COVID-19 vaccines: the need for fairness and clarity

By Guillaume Goubert, 30 November 2020
Image: National Cancer Institute/Unsplash.

 

Therapeutic cooperation is first and foremost a moral duty. It is also an economic imperative.

“We will spare no effort to ensure… affordable and equitable access” to vaccines, tests and treatments to combat COVID-19.

This promise was part of the final declaration the G20 leaders issued on Sunday 22 November at the end of their virtual summit. And one can only applaud the statement.

But it will take a huge effort to make the pledge a reality. We know that several of the world’s 20 most economically powerful countries are already pursuing strategies that pay little attention to equity and international cooperation.

However, such cooperation is indispensable if the fight against the pandemic is to succeed. No country can hope to escape the health crisis on its own.

Regular life cannot be resumed if countries have to keep their borders closed to avoid being contaminated by their neighbours. Nor can economic activity return to its previous level as long as some nations continue to struggle with the virus while others are relieved of the worry.

Therapeutic cooperation is first and foremost a moral duty. It is also an economic imperative.

This form of international civic-mindedness will also be useful in encouraging populations to be vaccinated. We know that many people are worried.

Many suspect that vaccination is mainly aimed at benefiting those that promote it. From this point of view, a free-for-all involving states and pharmaceutical companies in an obscure melee would be quite destructive.

It is essential that the agreements reached between the two sides be subject to a high degree of transparency. Clarity is essential for trust.

Guillaume Goubert is editor-in-chief of La Croix.

Reproduced with permission from La Croix International.

 

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