The Guardian view on vaccine justice: the developing world won’t wait | Editorial
Only one in four African healthcare workers is protected. Regional production and patent waivers are needed
No one asked for generosity – only justice. Self-interest as well as decency should have encouraged fairer distribution of vaccines: no one is safe until everyone is safe. Yet two years into the pandemic, with 8,400 people dying each day, the prospect of anything approaching vaccine equity remains as remote as ever. More boosters have been delivered in the developed world than first and second doses in low-income countries – the places that can least afford other measures such as restrictions on movements. In high-income countries more than two in three people have received at least one dose, but in low-income countries only one in nine. As of November, only one in four African healthworkers was fully vaccinated.
“What we understood to be equitable treatment is not the way rich nations looked at it. [To them] it means: we get [them] first, and when we are done with saving our own people, we will then attend to you,” observed Strive Masiyiwa, African Union special envoy on Covid-19, and head of the African vaccine acquisition task team.