Giving Compass' Take:
- Anna Rothschild and Sinduja Srinivasan discuss the potential distribution of surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses from wealthy countries to poor countries.
- Why is it important for all countries to be equipped to fight COVID-19? How can you advocate for equitable global vaccine distribution to save lives?
- Read about how you can fight for global vaccine equity.
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The United States has a surplus of COVID-19 vaccines—more than enough to vaccinate every adult. Poor countries, however, are still struggling to secure doses. Should those vaccines be sent to countries in need? If not, who will do the sending? And should rich countries profit off the exchange?
We discuss it all on this week’s PODCAST-19, FiveThirtyEight’s coronavirus podcast. Audio and a transcript follow.
Omar Ebeid: We have about 27 patients in the ER, at least 12 of which need to be admitted into our facility. We can’t refer them elsewhere. Like, if you think of it as, I mean, not, not to be too bleak about it, but like a mass casualty where you have kind of, where you triage the patients, you don’t treat the ones that you feel, like, have very little hope of making it. You try to take the critically ill that have a better chance. And it is difficult to see in a place where you are having to turn away patients, because the number of cases are increasing, whereas in other countries, you do have a surplus of vaccines.
Anna Rothschild: That was Omar Ebeid, the project coordinator for Doctors Without Borders’s COVID response in Baghdad. Ebeid told me that cases in Iraq are beginning to surge again, but the country of 40 million people will have only around 1.5 million doses within the next few weeks.
That’s obviously very different from what’s happening in some of the world’s richest countries. In the U.S. alone, we’ll have 800 million doses by the end of July, enough to vaccinate 1.5 times the entire population. And the gap in vaccine access between the global rich and poor is only getting wider. On April 9, the director of the World Health Organization said that of the more than 700 million doses administered globally, only 0.2 percent have gone to low-income countries.
Read the full article about vaccine access by Anna Rothschild and Sinduja Srinivasan at FiveThirtyEight.