Wednesday, June 16

Your Wednesday Briefing – The New York Times

In much of the developed world, vaccine orders are soaring and economies are poised to roar back to life. But in poorer nations, the virus rages on. In India, people are gasping for oxygen; thousands are dying daily in Brazil, and vaccination progress in countries as varied as Ghana and Bangladesh has faltered.

That split screen was never supposed to be so stark. A total of 192 countries signed up last year for Covax, a vaccine-sharing partnership, and the Gates Foundation poured $300 million into an Indian factory to make doses for the world’s poor. The European Union’s top executive told a global summit last June, “Vaccination is a universal human right.”

Yet as of mid-April, wealthy countries had secured more than 87 percent of the more than 700 million doses of vaccines dispensed worldwide, while poor countries had received only 0.2 percent, according to the World Health Organization.

Quotable: “It’s a moral issue,” said Boston Zimba, a doctor and vaccine expert in Malawi, which has vaccinated only 2 percent of its people. “This is something rich countries should be thinking about. It’s their conscience. It’s how they define themselves.”

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