We must act - GulfToday

We must act

vaccine 1

Image for illustrative purpose only.

This is with reference to your report “COVID-19 vaccine shots are available all across the UAE, find out your nearest vaccination centre” (Dec 10). It is rejoicing to note that UAE has organised assorted centres, for the COVID-19 vaccine. This is laudable. Compliments to the Government.

It is also encouraging that UK has started vaccination, in the midst of a second wave. The US should also be clearing the inoculations soon, even as it engulfed by a fresh surge of around 200,000 per day.

The plight of the developing countries is not yet uncertain. A US study shows that developed countries have covered their populations three to four times. Canada has purchased vaccines to cover 600 per cent of its population, the US 443 per cent, UK 418 per cent, Australia 266 per cent and the European Union 244 per cent.

By contrast a developing nations like India has covered only 59 per cent of its population, Mexico 84 per cent, Brazil 46 per cent and Kazakhstan 15 per cent of its population. Philippines has covered only one per cent of its population. These are shocking figures.

Human life, unfortunately, is not as valued in developing countries, as in Western countries. This is horrendous and very sad. Governments in developing countries in Asia and Africa, should cut all unnecessary expenditures and focus on buying high quality vaccines, to save lives. Granted that the cost of some of the vaccines is high at USD 40 per dose. So, be it. We are becoming a world that is more concerned about saving a tiger in India or a tree in Amazon in Brazil, than human beings in Africa. Developing countries cannot wait indefinitely for vaccines to be available at USD one per dose. Fighting COVID-19 is a war. Lives are being lost. We must act.

Rajendra Aneja
Mumbai, India

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