Letter | The COVID vaccine is a privilege that many others don’t have

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galway daily news letter to editor cian mortimer people before profit galway debenhams workers strike

Sir,

The Covid-19 Vaccine is a privilege that many other people don’t have.

Katy Sheridan’s article in the Irish Times on Dec 1st hit the nail on the head with her piece regarding complaints about vaccine queues being a sad reflection on the entitled, negative public. There are people in other countries who wish they had the same opportunity to protect themselves from COVID-19.

The distribution of vaccines is about the Global North vs the Global South.  It is about inequality. It is about rich countries hoarding vaccines while countries in the south suffer.

It doesn’t make any sense whatsoever not to vaccinate the globe as otherwise, we will have to live like this with ongoing disruptions, challenges and stress. It is like what we did with the HIV pandemic – Africa got the ARVs last and was at least 10 years behind the Global North. As a result, children lost their parents, families were decimated and we are still picking up the pieces.

But in Africa, it is not just about the vaccines, it is about the logistics of delivering the vaccines too – they don’t have the opportunity to complain about waiting in line for a vaccine as often there is no queue available to them. The vaccines are in limited supply in the Global South whilst they expire unused in the Global North.

The impact of COVID-19 across communities in Kenya has been devastating. There are no subsidies; no support. Today is about the survival of the families Brighter Communities Worldwide work with, in Kenya where COVID-19 is far from over and the pandemic has had a devastating effect across the region.

This is about children missing school and returning to the fields to work. This is about young pregnant girls facing a challenging future; this is about the breadwinners being unable to work who have no government support.

We have the opportunity to act in solidarity across the world.  No one is safe until we are all safe.

Yours, etc

Maria Kidney

Co-Founder Brighter Communities Worldwide

Cork, Ireland