How to view the current global vaccine distribution dilemma
July 08,2021   By:en.humanrights.cn
July 8, 2021 -- Hello everyone, I am Wang Xinyi, a PhD student at the Law School of Central South University. What I am sharing today is how to view the current global vaccine distribution dilemma.
Behind the current epidemic, too much attention to national interests has affected the willingness to share and fair distribution. The failure of international health law has led to the lack of “supervision”. As a public good with limited production capacity within a certain period of time, the distribution and use of vaccines may fall into what the ecologist Garrett Hardin called "the tragedy of the commons."
Interesting. Faced with the shared resources, every "shepherd" wants to get the most benefit, then what will he do? Grazing more "flocks" and overusing the "commons". As a result, resources became depleted and tragedy happened. If developed countries are unwilling to support the global vaccine sharing mechanism in terms of funding, or they irresponsibly buy and sell vaccines in order to ensure that their people are vaccinated, problems will arise.
First of all, too much attention to national interests is the cause of many current problems. Let’s take a look at the current data from WHO. Till June 4, 2021, there had been more than 100 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide, with a total of 3.69 million deaths. Ironically, about 2 billion vaccines were distributed globally, but only 0.5% of them reached low-income countries. Recently, the Washington Post reported that the adult population of the United States is about 260 million, but the government of United States had hoarded about three times this number of vaccines. In addition, the UK has a population of about 67 million, and its government has ordered more than 500 million vaccines. These data are sufficient to illustrate the problem.
Secondly, the international health rule of law has many problems, such as problems of the main body of regulation, system, and effectiveness, which led to the lack of supervision together. The Director-General of the World Health Organization Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus once pointed out that "some high-income countries are far behind in sharing important data with the WHO. I don't think they lack the capacity." In addition, in 2016, the WHO had the opportunity to formulate a very effective plan, which would effectively strengthen the ability of the WHO to operate in the epidemic. However, the plan did not receive effective support from member states due to long-term insufficient funding. Eventually, It failed. Therefore, these problems make it difficult for the behavior of subjects in a "free society" to be effectively supervised, and unrestrained freedom may cause tragedies.
Overall, as for the dilemma of global vaccine distribution, I put it down to the fact that some countries paid too much attention to their own national interests, besides, the lack of supervision caused by the failure of the international rule of law maybe another reason.  


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