Elaine Byrne: The West’s ‘vaccine nationalism’ is an arrogant and dangerous game

The effectiveness of the vaccines is threatened whenever a new variant of the coronavirus emerges, but the world’s richer countries seem to be more concerned about life returning to normal

13th June, 2021
Elaine Byrne: The West’s ‘vaccine nationalism’ is an arrogant and dangerous game
‘The longer the virus is left to ravage developing countries, the longer people in rich countries will remain at risk. The virus is mutating,’ Winnie Byanyima, director of the UN Programme on HIV/Aids, has warned. Picture: NurPhoto via Getty Images

At a press conference last May, the head of the World Health Organisation (WHO) scolded wealthy countries for vaccinating children against Covid-19 while poorer nations are still struggling to inoculate health workers and the most vulnerable.

“In a handful of rich countries, which bought up the majority of the supply, lower-risk groups are now being vaccinated,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, voicing his outrage at how inequity in vaccine access will mean more deaths due to...

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