Just as the world began glimpsing the light at the end of the tunnel of an arduous battle against the COVID-19 pandemic – bolstered by the development of several highly efficient vaccines – a new variant of “high concern” as designated by WHO has emerged. And, while the debate continues to rage about the origins of SARS-CoV-2 and how much of it, if any, was human influenced, there should be no doubt that humans shoulder the lion’s share of the blame for the emergence of the Omicron variant. The abhorrent inequalities in vaccine distribution, despite initiatives like COVAX, have resulted in about 3.64Bn, almost 50% of the global population remaining unvaccinated, mostly in low-income countries while wealthy countries march into providing booster shots. We must ask ourselves; do we still not value all lives equally? And, what, if not a resurgent global pandemic, will awaken our humanity?
Pandemics always end. Vaccines were never the reason global pandemic subsided historically. These are facts(1), and while they ought to invite comfort, they should not encourage complacency. Almost a country to grant temporary regulatory vaccine(2), with the rest of Europe soon following suit. It ushered a period of hope globally that better days lay That last statement however only rang true for the developed and wealthy countries, another cycle of dependency on the benevolence of wealthy nations emerged. Vaccines are created by pharmaceutical companies and given the mass devastation the pandemic caused to global markets, investors began relying on these companies to any hopes for vaccine formula sharing were slim to none. Thus, wealthier nations get to hoard vaccines, and only at their discretion do they decide to distribute vaccines to their less a global program to distribute Covid vaccines, has continuously slit its projection for doses in 2021 due to faltering production, banning exports, and hoarding vaccines.
This has resulted in about 45% of the world not being vaccinated(3), with only 0.7% of doses available being in Africa, a continent where only 6% vaccine distribution is unjust but not inexplicable. Is there any plausible