Canada is winning the vaccine lottery. Other countries are not so lucky.
Canadians are very lucky. Just a few months after the vaccination campaign was hit by a disaster by politicians and experts, this country with a population of 38 million had received 23 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine as of Thursday morning. It is expected that millions of doses will be added in the coming weeks.
In terms of the proportion of the population receiving the first dose of the vaccine, Canada caught up with the United States this week.In terms of total dose per capita, Canada ranks first Ranked third in the G20 with Ranked seventh among 37 OECD countries.
According to statistics released this week by Blake Shaffer, an economist at the University of Calgary, Canada ranks 13th In 151 countries around the world, the administered dose exceeds 1 million people.
The Canadians are lucky. But any celebration should be suppressed because not everyone is so lucky, and as long as COVID-19 is everywhere, it will remain a threat.
Karina Gould, Minister of International Development, said in an interview: “Just because you were born somewhere in a resource-poor country does not mean that you should not receive life-saving treatments. ” Rosemary Button Live.
Liberals will have to live up to those words. Nowadays, in the battle for vaccines, there are fewer and fewer countries before Canada, and it may be easier for Canadians to see how many countries have been behind us.
Vaccine anxiety in early 2021
The panic a few months ago was not entirely unreasonable. Even if the scramble for every country is a terrible way to vaccinate people around the world from global threats, it is forgivable that Canadians want their government to perform well in a competition that does not seem so fierce. .
However, the most catastrophic predictions are obviously too early, and the metrics to measure success need to be properly calibrated. For example, comparing Canada with places like Seychelles has never made much sense. Seychelles is a country with 100,000 people, and the Chinese vaccine used here can be used without approval.
It is fair to ask whether the federal government should take other measures to ensure faster or more abundant supply, even though there has not been a broad consensus on these matters.
But the experience of the last six months has shown Canadians the variability of global vaccination. Some countries, such as the United States, the United Kingdom, and Israel, enjoy advantages that are not easy to replicate. Supply in Canada was temporarily impaired because a factory in Belgium was closed due to reorganization.
Behind the panic is an unrecognized question: Why are ordinary Canadians more entitled to the vaccine than ordinary citizens of any other country on the planet?
Wealth has its privileges
Ananya Tina Banerjee, a professor in the Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health at McGill University, said: “I think Canadians are now grateful and understand that we are one of the richer It’s time to enjoy the privileges.”
For South America, the ratio dropped to 23.3 doses. In Asia, the dose is 17.6 doses. In Africa, only 1.97 doses are taken for every 100 people.
Measured by wealth, High-income countries/regions are given 52.3 doses per 100 people, while low-income countries/regions are given 0.64 doses per 100 people.
Robyn Christine Waite, Director of Policy and Advocacy for Results Canada, said that this inequality is not unique to COVID-19.
“There have been fatal differences for a long time [between higher and lower income countries] Waite said: “In terms of health outcomes and access to services (such as the tools needed to control and treat diseases), one thing I want to say is that this pandemic must have had a huge impact on this inequality. “
inside AIDS casesFor example, antiretroviral drugs entered Africa long after receiving this treatment in North America and Europe.
White suggested that COVID-19 may eventually be “propelled to all corners of the world” and forgotten by people in rich countries, becoming a “neglected poverty disease” such as AIDS, malaria or tuberculosis.
Mitchell HammondA history professor at the University of Victoria said that earlier outbreaks of diseases such as smallpox and polio provided some examples that we now call “Vaccine diplomacy“Although the United States has become an important exporter of vaccines, it is currently difficult for some countries to provide assistance to other countries due to the ongoing emergency crises within its territory.
But Hammond made two distinctions, which may prompt rich countries to do more now: the interconnectedness of the modern world and COVID-19 has shown the ability to produce new and more dangerous variants. fact.
Apart from the obvious moral argument, this is an argument motivated by personal interests. Until COVID-19 was eliminated everywhere, It threatens everyone.
Canada donated 440 million Canadian dollars, Kovacs (Programs that allow high-income countries to purchase vaccines for themselves and low-income countries), and provide $1.3 billion in funding for the use of the G20’s COVID-19 Tool (ACT) accelerator, which can distribute vaccines and other supplies.
Rich countries, including Canada, are also under pressure to give up vaccine intellectual property rights and assist in technology transfer.
Canadians themselves have benefited from sharing vaccines. In March, the United States agreed to provide loans to Canada 1.5 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine.Before that, Canada Received some allocated doses from COVAX.
In an ideal world, global vaccination efforts may have been coordinated through procedures like COVAX.Countries like Canada that have their own deals with pharmaceutical companies Accused of sabotaging COVAX.
The Trudeau government has promised to share Canada’s overdose, and Gould told Rosemary Barton Live (Rosemary Barton Live) that there is more to say “in the near future.”
As Wetter suggested, Canada can now postpone or abandon its remaining COVAX funding. To date, Canada has received approximately 900,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine through COVAX. The remaining millions of doses will arrive in the next few weeks.
“[Procurement Minister] Anita Anand should achieve this goal as soon as possible. “
With the good luck that Canada now has a large number of vaccines, Canadians should be ready to help the rest of the world.