Access to vaccines, public interest and multilateralism
Suerie Moon and Adrián Alonso Ruiz from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies analyze in this article, published in the journal "Foreign Policy", the confrontation between the public and the private and between geopolitical and health interests that is taking place in the process of accessing to covid-19 vaccines.
- The authors maintain that from the health perspective, in order to keep the pandemic under control, it is essential to maintain attitudes of solidarity by seeking multilateral agreements to "ensure that all countries have prompt access to the covid-19 vaccine".
- However from the geopolitical point of view, unilateral interests are prevailing, turning covid-19 drugs and vaccines into a strategic advantage, subject to fierce competition that could delay the end of the pandemic, increasing inequalities.
- According to them, this tension between geopolitical interests and health care providers reminds us of the lack of solidarity and unilateral attitudes already seen at the beginning of the pandemic, when it was difficult for some countries to obtain diagnostic tests and masks in the global market.
- Crucial to the authors will be the role of the pharmaceutical industry from now on, a sector that faces a difficult dilemma: "It can either try to restore its good public image by bringing much-needed innovations at an affordable price to all countries, or it can seek to rain down profits, as financial markets expect”.