Aanother important consideration is the cost: if the private sector is willing to step up and produce this vaccine, for example, it should not lose money to do so. At the same time, any Covid-19 vaccine must be classified as a “global public good” and remain accessible and accessible to all.
Fortunately, there are organizations like Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, which has a long history of helping low and middle income nations access critical immunizations.
Over the past two decades, thanks largely to UK support, Gavi has worked with WHO and Unicef to introduce 13 new vaccines, including the Ebola vaccine, in the 73 poorest countries in the world. They are willing and able to do the same with a Covid-19 vaccine, but they also need more funding.
Specifically, Gavi will need $ 7.4 billion over the next five years – and that’s just to maintain his current immunization effort. The delivery of a Covid-19 vaccine will cost even more.
These multi-billion dollar price tags can seem like a lot of money, especially at a time when whole economies are slowing down. But they are nothing compared to the cost of a failed immunization effort and a longer outbreak.
For the past 20 years, I have asked world leaders to invest in the health of the poorest people in the world. I claimed it was the right thing to do – and it is. But pandemics remind us that helping others is not the right thing to do; it’s also the smart thing to do.
Humanity, after all, is not only bound by common values and social bonds. We are also connected biologically, by a microscopic germ network that connects a person’s health to everyone else’s health.
In this pandemic we are all connected.
Our answer must also be.
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