130 countries have not received a single Covid vaccine dose. Speaking to the UN Security Council on Wednesday 17 February, UN Secretary General António Guterres called it “wildly uneven and unfair” that 10 countries have administered 75% of all vaccinations. He demanded a global effort to get the world’s population vaccinated together.
French President Emmanuel Macron has called on the rich world to send up to 5% of their coronavirus vaccine doses to developing countries, saying: “We’re not talking about billions of doses immediately, or billions and billions of euros. It’s about much more rapidly allocating 4-5% of the doses we have… It won’t change our vaccination campaigns, but each country should set aside a small number of the doses it has to transfer tens of millions of them, but very fast, so that people on the ground see it happening.”
Supporters of such a move argue the developed world has a moral obligation to act. However, some also argue Europe should avoid “vaccine nationalism” for reasons of self-interest; if the virus runs rampant in large parts of the world then it could lead to mutations and variants which might make vaccines less effective. Furthermore, Europe depends on global supply chains which face severe disruption if developing countries cannot access the vaccine, costing the rich world trillions of dollars.
Should the EU send 5% of its vaccine doses to poorer nations? Is it wildly unfair that 10 nations have administered 75% of all vaccines? Does vaccine nationalism make us all less safe? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!