Increased transmissibility is an exponential threat. If a virus that could previously infect an average of three people can now infect four, that looks like a slight increase. Yet if you start with only two people infected in both scenarios, only 10 iterations later, the first will have caused around 40,000 cases while the second will be over 524,000, a difference of almost 13 times.
Morally and practically, this emergency demands immediate action: widespread vaccination of the most vulnerable people where the threat is greatest.
Giving up patents on vaccines is fine, but unless it’s tied to a process that actually increases vaccine supply, it’s little more than expressing thoughts and prayers after a tragedy. . Officials from all vaccine-producing nations must meet immediately for an emergency meeting to decide how to requisition any excess capacity they have to produce more, by whatever means necessary. Due to the threat of increased transmissibility, and since the available evidence indicates that all vaccines, even the Chinese and Russian versions, appear to be very effective against severe disease or worse, the focus should be on manufacturing and the distribution of the greatest number. possible doses as quickly as possible.
If the choice is between no vaccine and no vaccine, priority should be given to whatever can be made fastest, regardless of patents, nation of origin, or countries that prioritize their allies or allies in grass.
Vaccine supplies must now be diverted to where the crisis is most severe, if necessary away from the rich countries that have bought the bulk of the supply. It is of course understandable that each country wants to vaccinate their own first, but a country with high levels of immunization, especially among its most vulnerable populations, can delay matters, especially if it has also experienced large epidemics before. . In addition, excess stocks can go where they are needed without even slowing down existing immunization programs.
Currently, Covax, the global alliance for vaccine equity, does not have enough vaccines to distribute, and the supply it receives is distributed according to the national population, not the severity of epidemics. This must change. Our fire department needs more water and should direct it to where the fire is burning, not all the houses on the street.
Answers could vary. Older people and healthcare workers may be given priority where the crisis is most severe. Dose saving strategies could be applied – delaying boosters has been successful in Britain and Canada when faced with flare-ups. Details can be decided by global health authorities.