Iris Borowy: Perspectives on COVID-19 Vaccine: The Incredible Success Versus the Incredible Failure. [Abstract]

COVID-19 has been the deadliest pandemic since the Spanish flu of 1918–1920. While people in the twentieth century had to wait for the pandemic to run its course before life could return back to a pre-pandemic normal, COVID-19 saw the emergence of several effective vaccines within a year. This quick development is unprecedented. Usually, it takes many years for a vaccine to become applicable in real life, and it is the first time in human history that a vaccine has affected the cause of an ongoing pandemic. While a major scientific success, this situation has also created the unprecedented challenge of how to distribute vaccines at a time when existing stocks are far below what is required for global herd immunity. This paper explores vaccine globalism, nationalism, and commercialism, as the three major drivers underlying the worldwide provision with vaccines. It discusses ways in which they have contributed to vaccine development, production, and distribution and tries to draw lessons for the preparation and management of future pandemics.

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