Opinion: Third Doses of Vaccines Go Against Poor Countries

Europe confirmed last week that it will advance its process of vaccinating its population with the third dose while there are countries that continue to beg for the first.

Woman getting a vaccine in her arm

What Latin America, Africa and Asia need is dignity, that the COVAX plans are fulfilled, with the equitable distribution of doses throughout the world and that they stop using this pandemic as a propaganda method. Photo: Pexels

LatiAmerican Post | Santiago Gómez Hernández

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Leer en español: Opinión: terceras dosis de vacunas van en contra de los países pobres

The WHO and the United Nations had asked several industrialized countries that are rapidly advancing in the inoculation of their population against the coronavirus, to delay this measure for a few months in order to supply vaccines to several countries. According to the Our World In Data platform, countries like Canada and Spain already have more than 70% of their population, with at least one dose, while Afghanistan does not even reach 1% of the total number of vaccinated with both doses. This is why international institutions asked to better distribute the following doses in the world.

But, at least Germany, France, the United States, and Israel (to which more nations can be added), ignored the call and announced that by autumn, they will reinforce their population with third doses.

Lack of altruism

Many will say that countries like the United States or China have already provided millions of donations for countries around the world. But we don't need handouts. What Latin America, Africa, and Asia need is dignity, that the COVAX plans are fulfilled, with the equitable distribution of doses throughout the world and that they stop using this pandemic as a propaganda method.

Also read: COVID-19: Why Did Pfizer and Moderna Vaccines Increase in Price?

Stop pressuring the laboratories for you to receive vaccines preferentially. In this way, no country will need donations and we can all move forward together for a fairer system.

World leadership

The pandemic has made several things clear to us: the global economic and health system is very fragile; globalization facilitates pandemics, and there is no global leadership. Here no country has shown true leadership to get ahead together, the main leaders were concerned about their internal politics and only sought to win elections and not about the health of human beings.

The lives of Europeans or North Americans are still worth more than the lives of Africans. And the discourse of human brotherhood was shown, once again, that it is just that: a discourse.

Biological hazards

The worst part of all this is that the industrialized countries could be shooting themselves in the foot. The medical evidence indicating that fully vaccinating a population while the transmission is prevalent in other countries has been quite evident and clear can be detrimental to both.

The possibilities of creating new variants, each time stronger, easier to transmit, and with a risk of being immune to vaccines are high. If there is no global vaccination campaign and transmission and mortality rates are reduced throughout the planet, we may be far from a true solution.

Then, instead of advancing in third doses to countries with large numbers of deniers and that do not comply with prevention measures, educational policies should be advanced to increase vaccination among these people and reduce infections. It is time to be taught that we must continue to wear masks and stop politicizing this pandemic.

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