Coronavirus disease has cost much to the human species in cash and in-kind with as many as 1.6 million deaths; now the second wave of infections is striking humanity even harder.
In such an abysmal scenario, any news regarding the vaccine of untreatable, lethal COVID-19 is surely to make headlines the world over.
The countries are scrambling to secure supplies of COVID-19 vaccine candidates, even before the establishment of the vaccine’s safety and efficacy. Although several vaccines are in the stages of clinical trials after 90% effectivity of Pfizer and BioNTech’s experimental covid-19 vaccine in clinical trials.
Another vaccine developed by the Chinese state-owned Sinopharm is in the final stages of clinical trials and has been widely deployed under emergency-use authorization within the premises of China. Likewise, the United States and the United Kingdom have issued emergency authorizations for a COVID-19 vaccine made by Pfizer of New York City and BioNTech of Mainz, Germany.
Russian officials have also licensed two vaccines but both are awaiting approval as they’re still undergoing stages of clinical trials. Apart from these, many other Covid-19 vaccines are in talks with different levels of effectiveness.
The successful international distribution of Covid-19 vaccines will be dependent on a number of factors. The very first being the efficacy and effectiveness of a vaccine.
The second factor that is specifically adamant for the poor economies like that of many third world countries is its cost-effectiveness along with approved safety and efficacy. Any vaccines that is safe enough to be administered and will be cost-effective equally well is more likely to make widespread international disbursement.
Another overriding feature for the vaccine’s availability is the ability of the producing firm to prepare large quantities of doses for smooth supply on demand. Reportedly, Chinese state-run companies, like Sinopharm, have the capacity and expertise to produce billions of doses.
The population would also be an evasive and cumbersome challenge in the execution of vaccine supplies. This can create serious challenges for the governments especially in the poor and third world countries that are probably running without any prior population control measures in place.
This is apparent from the fact that even the more advanced and rich countries have plans to vaccinate the people in several stages.
The health care workers and people with prior medical conditions would be immunized in the early stages and the rest of the population will take its turn in the subsequent stages of vaccine administration.
But for poorer countries, the road to the vaccine will be far longer and tougher not only because richer nations are rolling up their sleeves to receive coronavirus vaccines but also because of the multi-layered issues of administrative and political nature.
Third World Countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan are yet to declare themselves polio-free despite the availability and smooth supply of polio vaccine.
It’s really ambiguous how these nations are going to politically respond towards the administration of the Covid-19 vaccine. Global market research firm, Ipsos has already stated in a survey that at least 40 percent of people in Pakistan said they would not get the COVID-19 vaccine if it became available.
The survey, which showed that percentage of people saying they would vaccinate themselves has decreased from 62 to 60 percent this month.
Another very eminent projection is the COVAX- initiative that was created to ensure that the entire world has access to COVID-19. The COVAX has yet to confirm any actual deals to ship out vaccines and is reportedly short on cash.
As more countries in the West are purchasing the vaccine, the difference between people in rich countries getting vaccinated, and the lack of any vaccines for the developing world will become more pervasive.
In short, many poor countries are at the lower end of developing the Covid-19 immunity in nearest future due to inefficiencies in supply chains, unavailability of the final product, delayed agreements for vaccine purchase, and other circumstances pertaining to the political environment of the country.