Nikkei Asian Review September 30, 2020 05:00 JST “A three-part plan to eliminate COVID-19”. “We need capacity, funding and systems to deliver to vaccinate people” By Bill Gates.
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Summary of the Article
To stop COVID-19 we must eliminate it around the globe. Assuming we have vaccines early next year we can start a united effort to erradicate COVID-19.
What needs to happen?
1) Make billions of vaccine doses
2) Pay for the vaccine and the distribution
3) Have systems to vaccinate people around the world
About 50 of the richest countries have already contracted to get the vaccine but other less-fortunate countries from “South Sudan to Nicaragua to Myanmar” have half of the world’s population but not much resource for COVID eradication. When experts model stopping COVID-19 they conclude that if only rich countries are vaccinated then COVID will “spread unchecked for four months in three-quarters of the world and almost twice as many people will die." This goes beyond a “moral dilemma” because all economies will suffer when some are still “locked-down.” Further, without vaccinating everywhere, we can expect new viral outbreaks. So part of the solution is to make more vaccine by funding for the rest of the world. Groups like Act Accelerator can help-they have been funding vaccines over the last two decades. Regardless, public-funding to support this effort in the rest of the world will require public funding as well. So far Japan and the UK have stepped-up. Delivery of the vaccine will require coordination of “workers and infrastructure.” This is possible by leveraging systems already in place from the successful eradication of polio. To suppress COVID permanently will require best practices for monitoring, testing and contact tracing follow-up. Bill Gate notes “pandemics…create a surprising dynamic…where a country’s instinct to help itself is tightly aligned with its instinct to help others”. So by making vaccination happen in less-fortunate nations will serve all our goals.