The Guardian view on vaccines for all: share them now

For the west and other rich nations, the problem is demand: how to give more vaccines, including by persuading the hesitant. Britain and other countries are already delivering booster shots. Older children in the UK will also be vaccinated soon. There are undoubted benefits, even given the very low risk of death to most recipients; Covid can still be very unpleasant and cause long-term damage to health.

But for the rest of the world, the problem is supply. Healthcare workers and highly vulnerable people go entirely unprotected as the pandemic rages, with thousands of deaths recorded globally each day. The director general of the World Health Organization, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, had urged a moratorium on boosters until at least the end of the year to allow each country to protect 40% その人口の. In wealthier nations, 80% 人口の have had at least one dose; in poorer ones, ただ 20%. Across Africa, the figure is less than 3.5%. It could take many lower-income countries another two years to reach most citizens. The disparity may by now be familiar. But it remains shocking.

Covax, the global pooled purchasing scheme, has announced that it will fall 600m doses short of its target of distributing 2bn doses by the end of the year. Critics say, とりわけ, that some doses have been wasted in poorer countries lacking the infrastructure to distribute them. But a vast number have been squandered in wealthier nations: の中に US alone, 15m have been thrown away since March. And Covax’s single biggest problem remains the lack of supply. Not only were wealthier countries slow to offer sufficient funds, but they rushed to sign deals that left little supply for anyone else, and have hung on to surplus doses. Britain and others have abandoned mitigation policies, such as mandatory masking, which might have reduced the need for boosters.

Shamefully, the UK and EU also continue to block patent waivers for Covid vaccines. They should change course. But low-income nations need a better supply now. “We don’t want any more promises. We just want the vaccines,” Dr Tedros has said bluntly. 未満 15% of the 1bn doses promised by high-income countries have actually materialised. The EU last week pledged to donate 200m more by the middle of next year. But as of earlier this month, のみ 18m of the 200m it has already promised had been delivered. Sharing doses, and sharing them now, would protect all of us and protect our economies. It would help to build much-needed trust with developing countries ahead of November’s critical Cop26 climate talks, as Ed Miliband, Labour’s shadow business secretary, has pointed out. Most importantly, it could save millions of lives.