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Global Equity and the Covid Vaccine

“Global equity” is the buzzword among health professionals in recent years. With new viruses and more deadly diseases being introduced regularly, it has become a primary concern of many. With global trade and travel becoming so important, what can we do to protect ourselves and our loved ones? How do we ensure that those who are the most vulnerable are not suffering? There have been several efforts to find answers.

Global equity refers to the idea that healthy children everywhere should not be subjected to unnecessary health disparities between nations. By using vaccination as a method for controlling the spread of viral diseases, a global vaccine program is a responsible promise made by governmental authorities to improve immunization in all countries. Although it is unlikely that the current hepatitis outbreaks in West Africa will lead to the worldwide eradication of the disease, vaccines can help prevent other strains from reaching countries with low vaccination rates.

One promising application of vaccines is the development of vaccines to prevent diphtheria and meningitis. These diseases currently account for the deaths of over 11 million children in the developing world every year. The combination of diphtheria and meningitis vaccines was developed by CIDI infectious diseases institute and the United Kingdom’s Wellcome trust. Although the results of this trial are not complete, this is the closest thing we have ever seen to a safe and effective vaccine against these devastating infections. While no immediate danger lies in store for children who receive these vaccines, a strong opinion is that further research into preventing these diseases is still needed.

An alternative to vaccination is immunotherapy, which has the potential to protect populations against diseases that are not endemic to their countries of origin. The use of wild bird vaccines has been used in some African countries as a preventative strategy against dengue and measles, as well as poliophobe virus, rabies, and cytomegalovirus. Recently, an experimental vaccine was introduced in the United States that protects people from hepatitis B and C viruses. While it seems to have worked well in testing settings, this vaccine has not yet been approved for public use. For these reasons, it is unclear when or if this vaccine will ever be available.

The question is often asked about whether rich countries should be allowed to rely on antiviral drugs to fight off deadly viruses like the flu and swine flu. Rich countries have long opposed compulsory vaccines, arguing that such programs are inefficient and ineffective. There is no denying that the developing world desperately needs these drugs, but it would seem unfair to allow poor countries to suffer because richer countries can afford to protect themselves. On top of this, there is an ethical and moral issue at stake here: allowing wealthy countries to save money on healthcare means allowing poor countries to succumb to deadly diseases.

Some pharmaceutical companies have expressed their opinion that vaccines against common diseases like measles, shingles, and hepatitis B should be made available to the poor. But the World Health Organization’s Global Immunization Strategy recommends against compulsory vaccines. This group argues that “unlikely, in cases of acute hepatitis B and C, where booster shots can be given initially to healthy persons, childhood vaccines may not always be accessible to people living with hepatitis.” They add that ” Booster shots for children should be made available at least two weeks after immunization.” The pharmaceutical companies’ main concern is with profits, not how best to deliver these shots to the developing world. According to a report from the Global Forum on Health and Immunization, which is an independent international think tank, the main problem is that “the potential financial benefit from sales of HPV vaccines, especially the Cervarix and Gardasil combination products, is significantly lower than the potential savings from averting die-off and deaths due to diseases.”

An alternative to forcing vaccines on unwilling children is the use of vaccine passports. Some countries allow parents to vaccinate their children at home so that they do not have to travel to get their children vaccinated. These vaccination passports are valid in other countries, which means that a parent can easily bring his or her child to another country and get the shot. There is another problem with the use of vaccine passports, they can only be used for countries that grant child immunizations, which means that a parent who is traveling to Australia and wants his child to receive the HPV vaccine can only do so if he or she visits that country.

When the world was faced with the worst global health crisis in history, the United States introduced a bill that would allow the importation of unproven antiviral drugs. While this measure has been linked to an increase in die-off, it still poses a threat to the future of the pandemic virus. According to the New York Times, some drug companies fear that the new legislation will result in drug manufacturers manufacturing vaccines against the pandemic strain of flu and that they will no longer be able to profit during the pandemic. This bill, dubbed theAVGAT (American Vitamins Global Health Awareness and Research Act) by its supporters, has yet to be signed into law.

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