While the words “By the people, for the people,” spoken by Abraham Lincoln in Gettysburg, were related to the cause of democracy, they sprang to my mind as I considered the international COVID-19 crisis.
Considering the fact that much of the funding for research towards finding a vaccine has been bankrolled ‘by the people,’ should it not be universally ‘for the people?’
Perhaps I am idealistic, but if we could find our way to waiving trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights, and if manufacturers around the world were able to ramp up production of the vaccine to ensure that everyone young and old, rich and poor, weak and strong, could be vaccinated, wouldn’t we all be safer?
Sure, Canada might lag behind other developed nations in immunizing our population, but let us not lose sight of the overall picture. The me-first approach to obtaining and stockpiling vaccines by the world’s wealthiest countries, is not the answer. To bring this pandemic to an end, the majority of the world needs to be immunized.