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COVID-19 Vaccine: We Need a GLOBAL Plan NOW!

By Shlomo Maital

   The race is on! Between 80 and 100 labs are hard at work trying to develop a COVID-19 vaccine that is both safe and effective. And eight of them have now begun clinical trials with human beings.

   Now is the time to develop a global strategic plan to produce and distribute the vaccine, worldwide, when it is proven and the Phase 3 trials end successfully. Rapid massive production will be highly complex, and several plants will be needed in several countries.

     The only organization capable of organizing such a plan is the WHO World Health Organization. President Trump has crippled it, by cutting off funding, as part of his bogus fake claim to blame the whole crisis on China and on the WHO for complicity.

     We need to know:   Where can the vaccine be produced? What reagents and raw materials will be needed?   What will the cost of production be? How will the vaccine be distributed fairly, worldwide, when demand will be massive, basically, for all 7.594 billion people in the world?   How will the vaccine be priced, so that those in poor countries will also get it and afford it?

     All these are crucial questions that need answers. Now is the time to start working on them.

     This is a crucial test for the US, Europe and Asia. If the principle “every man for himself” or “America First” prevails, there will be disaster. The rancor and hatred that will result will echo around the world for generations – and with good reason.

       There has to be a global agreement that, first, the vaccine science and technology will be freely provided to everyone, without a blocking patent or patents. Second, the science and technology of producing it will be shared freely for all nations to use, with teams of consulting experts available, with packed bags, to fly on a moment’s notice to assist and consult. Third, a very large fund, with billions of dollars, must be raised, to subsidize costs of the vaccine for poor countries. Fourth, within each country, the vaccine must be provided according to clear priorities, those most at risk, and not according to whomever can afford the cost. There must be steps to prevent and control illicit black markets, and fake vaccines sold by scammers – there will be a lot of those.

     THIS is the time for planning. The plan has to be global, so that there is not an arms race among countries, about who will be first to reap propaganda benefits and to serve only their own people.

     If “America first” prevails, as Trump wants, the good name, values and even affection for America will be destroyed for many decades. Fortunately, the presidential election on Nov. 3 may be the one thing that puts an end to this shameful episode in US history.

Blog entries written by Prof. Shlomo Maital

Shlomo Maital
May 2020
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