Showing posts with label Political Economy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Political Economy. Show all posts

Saturday, 11 June 2022

No, Poor Countries Shouldn't Try To Make Their Own Covid Vaccines

Source: UNDP
One of the impressive features of humanity's response to Covid was the development of successful vaccines within only 10 months, and the production and distribution of 12 billion doses around the world. One of the worst features was the inequality in the distribution of those vaccine doses.

As of June 2022, only 18% of people in low income countries have received at least one dose compared to a global average of 66% and an average of 72% in high income countries (Our World in Data/UNDP). 


Obviously this contrast looks very unjust. Many people in rich countries have now received a full course of vaccination and multiple booster shots, even if they aren't particularly vulnerable. They also benefit from access to large well-resourced medical systems and thus high survival rates even if they are unlucky enough to be infected. Covid vaccines are clearly not being distributed to where they would do the most good.


One response to this injustice has been to argue that Low Income countries should be enabled to manufacture their own vaccines. Unfortunately, this is one of those ideas that sound nice but don't actually make sense when scrutinised (see previous: ideas vs arguments)