In a recent press conference held on Tuesday, the president of the US, Donald Trump announced that the country will no longer be a part of the global coronavirus vaccine distribution program and provide any kind of aid as the initiative is led by the World Health Organization.
The program, known more commonly as the ‘Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and Gavi’ or Covax is an initiative by the WHO that focuses on buying and providing coronavirus vaccines to the majority of the countries, specifically those which are worst-hit by COVID-19 by the end of the upcoming year.
Just lask week, the health agency also announced that it will be partnering with companies working and testing on potential coronavirus vaccine formulas in order to obtain the vaccines as soon as possible and providing them to countries around the world.
Currently, over one hundred and seventy countries are invited and expected to join the global initiative in order to end the pandemic in a collaborative effort by the end of 2021.
In addition, the European Commission also announced that it will be joining the cause as well as contributing $478 million or over four hundred pounds to the cause. Nearly, all major European countries have joined the pact.
However, the US will remain firm on its position from withdrawing all support from the WHO.
On Tuesday, the spokesperson for the White House, Judd Deere, clarified that “The United States will continue to engage our international partners to ensure we defeat this virus, but we will not be constrained by multilateral organizations influenced by the corrupt World Health Organization and China,”
On the other hand, Alex Azar, who is the Health and Human Services Secretary, wanted the country to be a part of the program.
A Washington Post report specifically stated the secretary was “interested in exploring some type of role in Covax… but there was resistance in some corners of the government and a belief that the U.S. has enough coronavirus vaccine candidates in advanced clinical trials that it can go it alone.”
The US’s withdrawal from the health agency and from the coronavirus vaccine distribution program can do more harm than good, especially in the long run.
Since the entire world is affected by the coronavirus pandemic, a global response is needed to end it. Where individual efforts are also important, they cannot help in resolving what is possibly the worst health pandemic the world has faced up till now.
The chief of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, had already stated the possibility of the current situation in a previous statement while emphasizing that global effort is mandatory in controlling the coronavirus as soon as possible.
The ‘vaccine nationalism’, which is prevailing in the US, can prolong the pandemic with the population of the country itself more affected than any other.
Given the highly contagious nature of the virus, it cannot be completely controlled until all countries are making sufficient and collaborative effort.
If the epidemic stays in one country, it is likely to spread to others over time as well as Tedros said that since the world is now more interconnected and globalized than ever before, the only way to end the pandemic is to end it together.