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Rich Nations Hoard Vaccines While 90% of People in Poor Countries Denied 'Escape Route From the Pandemic'

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/12/09/rich-nations-hoard-vaccines-while-90-people-poor-countries-denied-escape-route


Isn’t that, historically, the way it always works?
The same think happens with food and fresh water, among other items.


‘Canada is the worst offender, having bought more doses per capita than any other country—“enough to vaccinate each Canadian five times,”’

A reason to dislike Canadians…how often does that happen? What’s up with that, Canada?

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This might be a good time to redefine what we mean by “wealth”. Are we actually “wealthy” when we amass things and money which all will pass away as we all will or are we wealthy when we amass heaps of good will, concern for other fellow travelers–human, animal, vegetable–and the ever expanding awareness of our interdependence? The former has created a hell for most, has it not?


“Unless something changes dramatically, billions of people around the world will not receive a safe and effective vaccine for Covid-19 for years to come.”

I first thought the author might be talking about the “warp speed” rush to get these novel and poorly- or untested concoctions out for a big payday.

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I agree with:
"No one should be blocked from getting a lifesaving vaccine because of the country they live in or the amount of money in their pocket.

But I’m not sure the information in the article is correct. There was a story the other day, claiming the US only bought enough for about 50,000 people from Pfizer in the first round, and they offered another 100,000 doses (two doses per person) to the administration, and were told “no thanks”. Why would Canada buy enough doses “to vaccinate each Canadian 5 times”? This doesn’t make sense.
And lets not forget the US has blocked Iran from buying any doses, why is the rest of the world allowing this?


“Rich Nations Hoard Vaccines While 90%…in Poor Countries Denied ‘Escape Route From Pandemic’”

No source I know challenges the claim that rich nations have bought up vaccine supplies first - or that rich, ‘northern hemisphere’ countries will mainly get it first.

But what CD leaves out is that - in the NYT opinion piece quoted - the authors claim that, even in rich countries, patent restrictions will mean only 50% of the pop.'s get the vaccine by the end of 2021…

…contrary to the CD piece’s opening claim that there is plenty of vaccine to go around in rich nations…

…so that, even in comparatively rich countries like the US, there are reasons and opportunities to demand ending patent protections that will limit manufacture and sale of the vaccines.

Confronting Big Pharma “is the right thing to do in the face of a global pandemic,” wrote Prabhala, Jayadev, and Baker. “It is also the best way for the governments of rich countries to take care of their own populations, which in some cases experience more severe drug shortages than do people in far less affluent places.”

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The dire irony is that this privileged selfishness is antithetical to their ultimate self interest.

They will discover, to their communal eschewing chagrin

That it is, indeed, a small world after all.


I am more comfortable with the alternative you offer.


Yes, absolutely yes. That re-definition is popping up everywhere I look, possibly even in the more mature branches of economics. I will look into that. This is the necessary spiritual awakening that Fritz Schumacher wrote about in the last chapter of Small Is Beautiful 47 years ago, as have more and more writers since then. Is it too much to hope that we are approaching a critical mass?

There seems to be an inverse relation between wealth (in the perverse sense of money and material goods) and empathy, especially for people perceived as “different from us.”

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How Wealth Reduces Compassion
As riches grow, empathy for others seems to decline


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I hreard that the U.S. will get roughly 2 million doses. Two per person equals one million people out of more than 300 million. Think the middle class and below will get a vaccination before the end of next summer?

PS My sister sopped by a local bar that used to serve the best steak sandwich around to see if they still did. She masked up and walked up to the bar. As the bar tender was walking over my sister glanced around the bar and nobody was wearing a mask in this crowded small bar.

It could be another hard lesson Covid has to teach us if the rich get vaccinated while the virus mutates among the poor until the vaccination is no longer effective (or worse).


Thanks for that link. It was good to read that article again. I’d read where someone supposedly said something about the rich and Heaven and eyes of camels. Now we know why… Lends more weight behind the argument to TAX the RICH - now we can claim its for their own spiritual salvation.

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Wow, I am a long-time subscriber to SciAm, but I missed that one. Turns out that it is from one of the numerous spinoffs of that magazine, founded in 1845, that have been introduced in the past 15 years. As “Yogurt” said to Mel Brooks in "Spaceballs, “We’re workin’ on Spaceballs 2, da quest foh moah money!”

The article is good, but one doesn’t really need a PhD in psychology to see how money and the power it confers insulates a person from reality, especially the reality of having barely enough money to survive in the capitalist society.

Mexico has already signed a 35 million-dollar deal for Chinese vaccines, and Indonesia has reportedly received 1.2 million doses from China as well. Most of Southeast Asia are likely to buy vaccines from both China and the West. China will have 600 million vaccine doses ready within a year, with priority for poorer nations in Africa and other places. So far, China is the only big vaccine maker that has joined the COVAX Global Vaccines Facility which was established by the United Nations to make vaccines affordable for poor countries. There is, as UN WHO Director General says, “real hope” their needs would be met.

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Why not give the poor people of the world the vaccine for free? They supply cheap labour for us and cheap chocolate and cheap everything. Canada gave away the patent for the Ebola vaccine. Everybody agrees that it is a good idea to stamp out Poliomyelitis. and Rabies. and Malaria.
I guess that the problem is that nobody wants to do anything without making a profit, under the Capitalist system. While we are all idle perhaps we should have a rethinkingtime about the way that Capitalism might be improved or replaced.
Capitalism is an economic system characterised by the rich creating the money and thus extending their wealth and power. How many readers think that the Money Supply is created by the Government and how many readers think, as I do, That 95% of the Money Supply is created by the ‘banking system’ for their own private profit?


Public health has been decimated, and what do we get? Screams from the left for radically new and untested pharma “genetic immunomodulation” products! (Call them “vaccines” if you like, but more and more pharma products are being dumped under that label - 300 in testing at last count - because you can’t sue the manufacturer if you’re injured by something someone called a “vaccine.” As bad as the FDA is, at least they do have some standards that are honored in the breach. But “biologics” were put under the CDC, a part of the military until recently, because they didn’t want the FDA medical testing red tape if we were under biological attack.)

When is the left going to do more than than scream about access and start asking about what it is we’re asking for access to?