9, October 2021
Since the pandemic hit in March 201, rich countries have been promising to take poorer nations under their wing. Countries like the US, the UK and Canada started buying up vaccines, promising to donate hundreds of millions of doses. They have not delivered on those promises though. Dozens of countries say COVAX, the organization in charge of the equitable distribution of vaccines, won’t even respond to calls or emails from top diplomats.
By the end of 2021, rich countries will have a stockpile of one billion spare COVID-19 doses. Here in Britain, with most adults double jabbed, more than a million people have now been offered a booster shot. But will 3 doses be enough protection here, when 98% of people in low-income countries remain unvaccinated.
All along the WHO has warned that the pandemic is not over anywhere, until it is over everywhere. Now it says the world stands on the precipice of failure, and that hoarding is not only immoral, but stupid.
Even many European countries lost hope in COVAX months ago; taking matters into their own hands. Countries like Russia and China were quick to fill orders from countries like Hungary and Slovakia that couldn’t wait for the European Union to deliver. But countries that can’t afford to pay are still waiting for handouts.