Tired of conflicts and wars, the world created the United Nations aimed at reaching a consensus on who are sovereign states. Although there are disputes regarding the UN memberships, necessitating revisions here and there, as a result of peaceful understanding among the parties concerned or a prevailing forceful de facto development, nations feel secure because of the presence of the common body.
Disregarding the visible differences in terms of geographical region, nationality, race, color of skin, hair and eyes, sex, height and weight, physical strength, economic prosperity, level of technical advances and many other attributes, all of mankind belongs to the same species - Homo sapiens. The DNAs of different human kinds are strikingly 99.9 percent similar.
Many species of animals show social characteristics. Thousands of bees live in a hive, where each member performs a designated role in reproduction or food collection. Some species of ants build up big colonies with a strong division of labor. Wild animals like elephants, monkeys, hyenas and zebras; birds like parrots, finches, larks, penguins and pelicans, live and walk or fly in groups. Even bacteria, viruses and fungi survive in colonies. But it is man, that has reaped the highest fruits from socialization, that knows when to fight and when to unite within and outside, that has reached through treaties, conventions and declarations, a common understanding among all fellow members, that has somewhat agreed to minimum criteria in dealing with other men, flora and fauna, lands and waters, seas and oceans, forests and deserts, atmosphere and space, all living beings and non-living things, natural or manmade, in peacetimes and in wars. It is man, who talks of right and wrong, duties and responsibilities, altruism and philanthropy.
Tired of conflicts and wars, the world created the United Nations aimed at reaching a consensus on who are sovereign states. Although there are disputes regarding the UN memberships, necessitating revisions here and there, as a result of peaceful understanding among the parties concerned or a prevailing forceful de facto development, nations feel secure because of the presence of the common body. We have the Security Council (SC), with five powerful states as permanent members due to their importance after World War II and retained the power to veto any resolution it did not like and ten temporary members elected to represent different regions, created to discipline countries with force when it feels necessary. So far very few countries have successfully defied the UN and the SC resolutions. Among many agencies, the UN has created the World Health Organization (WHO) for international public health, with the main objective of the attainment by all peoples of the highest possible level of health. “All people” naturally includes those from the least developed countries, those unable to pay for healthcare, those living in non-UN member territories, and those deprived of rights of free movement and free choice.
All of the five permanent Security Council members (the US, the UK, France, Russia, and China) are producers of corona vaccines. These five countries have the responsibility of ensuring sufficient vaccines to the COVAX program coordinated by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and the WHO. Sadly, the current sluggish rate of vaccination of the frontline workers and priority population in the countries that depend on the COVAX will become ineffective in combating the coronavirus as by the time the last doses of the vaccine reach their recipients those vaccinated earlier will have already lost the protection. Help not in time and not with sufficient magnitude will not only miss the mission of containing the transmission of the virus, it will provide opportunity to the emergence of new, perhaps more dangerous variants, which may re-enter the land of the affluent.
The two choices
As to tackling the coronavirus, we the poor people living in the less developed parts of Asia, Africa and South America are in dire need of prompt full vaccination. But we lack both the technical capacity in manufacturing and the financial capacity for the purchase of the vaccine. Assuming two doses are needed and sufficient to provide protection in an individual, and vaccination of 70 percent of the global population would provide herd immunity, about 11 billion doses of the vaccine are required. Leaving out the 6 billion doses secured by high- and upper-middle-income countries and another 1 billion doses declared by the US to buy for developing countries, just 4 billion doses extra have to be paid by the rich countries for the poor. Even at the prices of $20 per dose of Pfizer & BioNTech, the total extra cost of providing vaccines to produce herd immunity would be about $80 billion, which is less than one ninth of 2020’s annual military spending of the United States. If the patents were waived and vaccines manufactured under special arrangements as by Serum Institute of India, the price of the vaccine could be as low as $4 per dose, and the poorer countries would be able to provide vaccination themselves to provide full immunity to their citizens.
There is a second option. This option is letting Darwinism go to work. In this case, you rich and strong better not pretend to help the poor, let the virus transmit freely, infect all people, do whatever harm it can, and leave us as all to what the pandemics have done in history. At the global mortality rate of two percent among the closed cases, 98% of us will survive the pandemic, perhaps not much affected by mucormycosis, the black fungus, if we do not try to alleviate the symptoms with steroids and other immunosuppressants. This way also, the impact on you, the advanced, will not be too big, as we will be able to supply naturally-immunized human resources to fulfill your labor market needs. Mother Nature under the Providence is kind to us that we will be successfully producing offsprings, educating and training them, and letting them apply for working visas or Diversity Visas. If luck favours you, we will be able to earn enough money to purchase some of your patented products. Wounds will soon heal, and we will be praising the worldwide brotherhood of mankind. Do not worry of losing your philanthropic image; the weaker nations are more afraid of mentioning their sufferings and hardships as they know they gain nothing from remembering the awkward past. We will remain always eager to pretend our equality to you.
In the eyes of a member of the healthcare team and a layman interested in economics and world relations, more beneficial to you would be providing a waiver to the patent rights of the vaccine production (in any case, you are not making money out of sales to us), helping strengthen the healthcare capacity of the developing world, diverting a fraction of military expenses to provide free vaccination to all and gaining strategic support worldwide which you have failed hitherto. Looking absolutely from your interests, taking us together you can reach higher. We are open, choice is yours.