Global cop sans responsibility
What a shame it has been to witness that the ‘most powerful’ country in the world, the United States has not bothered to be part of a combined effort to develop and distribute a Covid-19 vaccine.
The US has made it official that it will not work with an international cooperative effort to find a vaccine because it does not want to be constrained by multilateral groups like the World Health Organization.
The US administration has for quite some time now been very critical of the world health body alleging that it is tilting heavily in favour of China. The US claims the WHO is in need of reform and is heavily influenced by China.
Though every country has its own ax to grind but given the way the Covid pandemic has hit the world countries need to pool in resources and efforts to ensure success against a disease that has no geographical boundaries.
Presently, more than 150 countries are setting up the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access Facility, or COVAX. The cooperative effort, linked with the WHO, would allow nations to take advantage of a portfolio of potential vaccines to ensure their citizens are quickly covered by whichever ones are deemed effective.
The WHO says even governments making deals with individual vaccine makers would benefit from joining COVAX because it would provide backup vaccines in case the ones being made through bilateral deals with manufacturers aren’t successful.
The US is presently banking on AstraZeneca, a pharmaceutical giant that has announced its vaccine candidate having entered the final testing stage in the US. The Cambridge, England-based company said the study will involve up to 30,000 adults from various racial, ethnic and geographic groups.
Two other vaccine candidates began final testing this summer in tens of thousands of people in the US. One was created by the National Institutes of Health and manufactured by Moderna Inc., and the other developed by Pfizer Inc. and Germany’s BioNTech.
However, even vaccines at their third stage have shown to have not fetched the desired results especially when the scientists and researchers are dealing with a virus that has undergone mutations and has changed patterns in various countries.
In such scenario only a joint effort would have ensured a timely development of a vaccine, but the way US has been behaving it wants to escape from the responsibility of being called the most powerful and developed country.
The US wants to be a global cop, but does not wish to share the responsibility it needs to share.
Announcing to go it alone, the US is abdicating its global leadership in fighting pandemics by putting the lives of millions around the world at risk. It could also completely isolate Americans from an effective vaccine against COVID-19 as well.