A third of the world’s population is still unvaccinated – The Organization for World Peace

As COVID-19 appears to be becoming the new normal, vaccines are essential to help reduce the risk created by the virus. Here in the West vaccines for many have become the new norm, but that is not the case everywhere in the world. While those who remain unvaccinated due to stigma and prejudice, several countries around the world do not have immediate access to vaccines. According to the World Health Organization, a third of the world’s population is still unvaccinated. This is an extreme problem that needs to be solved. The parts of the world that are still unvaccinated appear to be poorer and impoverished, while the vaccinated people benefit. This, of course, is not right at all.

Also, what is the reasoning behind this decision? Also, do some people’s lives mean more to others? We all know the severity of COVID-19 and how quickly it is attacking lives. A considerable number of questions arise when considering this issue as it is very alarming that a third of the world’s population remains unvaccinated not because of themselves but because of other issues.

Nature reports that only one in ten people in poor countries are unvaccinated. This is mainly due to the lack of global supply of vaccine doses. In addition, planning and implementing immunization programs in countries with weak health systems has posed many challenges. That being said, there needs to be a faster response to countries that need vaccines. As a result, the White House aims to hold another global COVID-19 summit in the future with the goal of ending the number of virus-related hospitalizations and deaths. Moreover, it is a need that should be prioritized whenever possible.

One of many measures taken to increase the number of people vaccinated, COVAX – a vaccination initiative against COVID-19 – has distributed 1.3 billion doses of vaccine in 144 countries, reports Nature. However, a third of these doses were distributed almost two years after the pandemic. These vaccine doses were also going to be wasted because, by the time they arrived in low-income countries, they had already expired or were about to expire. As COVAX essentially dropped, vaccine doses on the doorsteps of these countries without any instructions or proper resources to help them distribute them to citizens.

Out of 55, 44 African Union members lack adequate cold storage infrastructure such as refrigerators and freezers to distribute and contain vaccine doses. Additionally, the Africa Centers for Disease Control have urged that vaccine doses be delayed until the appropriate infrastructure is in place. This is an unintended consequence of the problem. In addition, the lack of care for COVAX in African countries is essential here. COVAX blindly sending out vaccine doses without ensuring that African countries have the proper infrastructure is an act of negligence.

In my opinion, here is how COVAX should do things differently. Starting with COVAX, the initiative should first make sure African nations have proper cold stores before giving them the vaccine. This is an essential first step because COVAX should have ensured that these nations could properly store the vaccines provided. COVAX failed to do this, and now an excessive number of vaccine doses will be wasted due to their negligence. Second, once COVAX determines if these African countries have appropriate storage systems, they must proceed with the process of distributing the vaccines; however, if a country does not have these appropriate systems, COVAX should work with the Africa CDC to obtain these appropriate vaccine storages. In this way, vaccines will not be wasted and African citizens will be able to receive the appropriate vaccines through a proper vaccination process.

COVAX, in this situation, is playing a critical role in delivering vaccines, or in this specific case, vaccines to countries where their voices of complaint are rarely heard or taken seriously. COVAX should have ensured that these African countries had the appropriate infrastructure before sending them doses of vaccine. They should have let some African countries know how to properly store vaccine doses. Ultimately, the blame rests heavily on COVAX personified shoulders. The neglect may be partly because African nations are deemed too poor to care.

Although the idea that African nations are poor is outlandish in most countries, this idea is very strongly represented in Western discussions across the continent. Africa is known to be always on the brink of famine and drought while being a place with extreme crime rates. This view has been influenced by the racism of the West and the big institutions that play into this narrative. While this is an assertion, COVAX may not recognize its own bias in dealing with African nations versus Western nations, but it is obvious. Africa is not seen as important to many powerful countries in the world, and that is a problem. Even if every country in Africa was impoverished, does that mean that they shouldn’t have a say or that people shouldn’t care what happens in those countries? Absolutely not, but not everyone would agree with that.

In conclusion, COVAX and other immunization initiatives need to take the necessary precautions when sending vaccines to African countries. COVAX should ensure that these African countries have proper storage for vaccines so that they are not wasted. Additionally, they should ensure that these African nations have the necessary knowledge to distribute and administer the vaccines.

Aubrey L. Morgan