The World Needs Genuine Cooperation to rid itself of COVID 19

Like all documented pandemics in our contemporary world, the appearance of coronavirus less than two years ago threatened the world order and placed it in a jittery and uncertain situation and future. The scientific world and researchers responded in kind and within a short time came up with antidotes to the debilitating virus. In an attempt to curtail spread of the disease, pharmaceutical companies were given special permissions to skip a hitherto, cumbersome yet detailed protocol associated with drug manufacturing.

While, the West and other developed countries were grinding to save the world, developing nations that look up to developed nations for almost everything and anything became sitting ducks waiting for what churns out of the grinding machine to help their citizens. As they waited for help, they turned to, and followed the protocols of the World Health Organization to stem spread of the virus. Up the creek without a paddle most locals in developing nations found solace in centuries-old traditional medicines – herbal, roots, among others – to boost their immune system against the virus.

The fight to contain the pandemic is ongoing globally, as nations struggle to obtain vaccines to curtail the dreadful virus. The billions who are yet to be inoculated soon owing to the uneven distribution of the vaccine continue to threaten the attempts to curb the spread. Most concerning is that the rich countries that are vaccinating their citizens are not looking outside their environments and the time it would take for the poor in the developing nations to obtain the vaccine. In Ghana for instance less than a million people out of more than 30 million have received the jab. Many who have received the first injection and awaiting the second to complete the vaccination process are still in a limbo not knowing how that single jab could help sustain their immunity.

World Health Organization (WHO) Chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said in January that deals between some high-income economies and manufacturers of COVID 19 vaccines are undermining the WHO-led COVID 19 vaccines for all participating countries. WHO bemoans the fact that out of some fifty countries where the vaccines are being administered 75 percent have been deployed in 10 wealthy nations only. Ghebreyesus is not too happy saying “the world is on the brink of a catastrophic moral failure” due to vaccine nationalism.

The director-general of the Institute of Policy Studies, an Islamabad-based think tank in Pakistan, Khalid Rehman states that it is time the world come together against global challenges “with an aim to jointly create a better future for humanity, not for one country, not for a group of countries but for humanity at large.”

According to Xinhua, China has joined the COVAX initiative and has pledged to provide 10 million doses to mitigate the plight of developing countries. Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian said that China has provided vaccine assistance to at least 53 developing countries and exported vaccines to 27 others.

The versions of vaccines of the U.S. pharmaceutical corporations Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson were manufactured in Europe and sold under the brand name Vaxzeria. On the flip side, a version of the AstraZeneca, developed in the U.K. but manufactured in India by the Serum Institute and called Covishield with batch numbers 4120Z001, 4120Z002 and 4120Z003 is facing roadblocks by the newly-created European Union’s Digital COVID-19 Certificate (EUDCC) passport scheme. It is not being recognized by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), which regulates vaccinations in the bloc. So far, only the Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and the AstraZeneca version manufactured in Europe have been approved and acceptable by the EMA.

The Covishield manufactured by the Serum Institute of India and heavily promoted by the World Health Organization as part of the COVID -19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) initiative has been widely distributed in developing nations of Africa and Asia, and Latin America. Lobbed in with this, is over more than five million United Kingdom citizens – out of more than 70 million vaccine jabs in Britain – who received jabs of the Covishield. Citizens of the U.K. and other EU countries who received jabs of the Covishield may not qualify for the EU Digital COVID-19 Certificate (EUDCC) designed to facilitate travel for vaccinated people within the EU that came into effect on July 1. Even though some in the EU risk being prevented from entering other EU nations, far more people from developing nations who received the India-made vaccine may be refused entry into the EU and other such countries. The COVAX initiative has distributed close to 100 million vaccines to 133 mainly low – and middle-income countries.

Amandla is confused that UK policy and decision makers have included the Indian-made Covishield version in all its medical records under the brand name Vaxzevria where AstraZeneca is employed. We therefore think it is hypocritical and even unconscionable for the EU to take the stand it has on Covidshied. Is the Serum Institute plant substandard to the quality procedures, protocol, and process as compared to European vaccine facilities?

We agree with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres that “global response is more and more fragmented,” and as Rehman also said the pandemic must be seen as a “wake-up call. . .

A shared future for mankind cannot happen without genuine cooperation among all stakeholders.”

Posted by on Jul 13 2021. Filed under Editorial. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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