Politics, nationalism hamper global COVID-19 vaccination efforts

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As G7 ministers prepare to meet this week in Cornwall, U.K., there are renewed calls to increase global vaccine manufacturing, as well as rising concerns over a “two-track pandemic” favouring wealthier nations as vaccinations in poorer countries lag.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has long said that the pandemic ends when everyone is vaccinated against COVID-19, and it initially hoped to have 20 per cent of the global population inoculated by the end of 2021. That is looking less and less achievable, since 88 per cent of the world has not yet had a single dose, and delivering the vaccine to many populations in need is being hampered by politics and nationalism.

“I’d be worried about the 39 or 40 countries that have vaccinated only one per cent of their population,” said Rohinton Medhora, president of the Centre for International Governance Innovation, citing concerns over newer variants that could arise. 

“These might not be countries that are…

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