11 February 2021

Are we guilty of vaccine nationalism?

COVID-19 Government

Is an election opportunity driving our vaccine rollout supply negotiations and deadlines?

Short of getting our act together better on hotel quarantine, no one is sick or dying in Australia, but they are in big numbers in other parts of the world including some of our neighbours, and they are all desperately short on vaccine supply.

Ten million (now 20 million ordered) doses of Pfizer vaccine used in Australia in the next two months will probably make a lot of people feel a lot safer, but probably won’t save one life, if we can keep our quarantine problems at bay for a bit longer. How many doses of that same ten million would actually save a life in a hard hit country like Italy or Indonesia?

That’s one aspect of the ethical issues we face in Australia, having secured about three times the amount of doses we need to vaccinate just once.

We now have one of the highest ratios of doses per capita globally secured and at the same time we have managed to keep a lid on the virus so people aren’t dying and health services aren’t stretched.

This has awkwardly put Australia in the sights of those warning against vaccine nationalism, as governments put their own populations (and their own political interests) ahead of the greater global good – as Ruby Prosser Scully writes HERE , and discusses on our new Tea Room podcast HERE.