Socialist Worker

Booster jabs? Billions are still waiting for their first

Issue No. 2782

Money and power decide who is jabbed

Money and power decide who is jabbed


People aged over 40 in England can now book their booster Covid vaccinations. Scotland will follow with a similar plan soon.

But as a third vaccine is rolled out in Britain, many people around the world are unable to access their first.

From the start there has been deep inequality about who receives life-saving treatment and who is at the back of the queue.

Powerful Western nations have the money to scoop up products from the big pharmaceutical companies. Many of the countries in the Global South rely on aid and international Covid response programmes for vaccines, but these are limited.

One immediate measure would be to remove the patents on the vaccines so poorer countries could manufacture their own supplies. The main forces opposed to that are the governments of Britain, Germany, Norway and Switzerland plus the European Union.

The government’s target is to send 100 million vaccine doses to vulnerable nations by mid-2022. That’s already too late, and this target will never be hit unless they increase the monthly donation from just 5.1 million doses to 11.5 million. So far just 20 million doses have been exported.

And without vaccines, there is a much higher risk of new Covid variants that could see even more horrendous death tolls everywhere.

As always the lives of the poor are always cheap, whether in Britain or across the globe.


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