Vaccine Nationalism | UPSC CURRENT AFFAIRS |

Vaccine Nationalism: Current Affairs 

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Vaccine Nationalism

Relevance: International Relations

Context: United Nations chief has criticized global distribution, noting that 10 countries have administered 75 percent of all vaccine doses.

What is Vaccine Nationalism?

  • Vaccine nationalism occurs when a country manages to secure doses of vaccine for its citizens or residents before they are made available in other countries. This is done through pre-purchase agreements between a government and a vaccine manufacturer.
  • Some countries have secured enough supplies to vaccinate their populations more than once. The countries with the most coverage per capita are Canada with 500 percent of its population covered, the United Kingdom with 327 percent, Chile with 244 percent, New Zealand with 242 percent, and Australia with 226 percent.
  • Vaccine nationalism is not new. During the early stages of the 2009 H1N1 flu pandemic, some of the wealthiest countries entered into pre-purchase agreements with several pharmaceutical companies working on H1N1 vaccines.
  • The most immediate effect of vaccine nationalism is that it further disadvantages countries with fewer resources and bargaining power.
  • It deprives populations in the Global South from timely access to vital public health goods.
  • Taken to its extreme, it allocates vaccines to moderately at-risk populations in wealthy countries over populations at higher risk in developing economies.


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