• Saturday, Dec 04, 2021
  • Last Update : 07:27 pm

OP-ED: Will a vaccine save the economy?

  • Published at 07:51 pm July 20th, 2020
covid-19 vaccine
A global common good BIGSTOCK

Making it affordable for all will be key

Development Economist Dr Atiur Rahman sharing his mind said that once the availability of the coronavirus vaccine becomes a reality, the world economy will recuperate and Bangladesh will also make a dramatic turn-around.

However, a challenge remains of generating new employment and regenerating the labour market. The challenge could be bridled with a long and short term economic preparation, by an energetic team of planners and social managers selected.

The government has to develop a recovery plan of action to generate jobs and employment in both formal and non-formal sectors, says Atiur Rahman, a former governor of Bangladesh Bank.

Atiur says the expectation from the discovery and availability of the coronavirus vaccine has increased exponentially.

Meanwhile, over 100 influential global leaders have joined Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus after he launched an international campaign to make the Covid-19 vaccine a global common good.

The campaign on behalf of Nobel laureates and organizations of Nobel laureates, civil society leaders, and world moral leaders urged all the global leaders, international organizations, and governments to adopt legal measures and declare Covid-19 vaccine as a part of the global domain.

What the founder of the “bank for the poor” meant was that the vaccine should be available at a cheaper price for the developing countries, but not for the West only.

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc across mother earth, there is an explosion of research activities and clinical trials to find cures and vaccines, says Prof Yunus.

The platform urged the World Health Organization (WHO) to design a World Action Plan on the Covid-19 vaccine and appealed to set up an international committee responsible for monitoring the vaccine research.

The research for a vaccine is a long process. The estimated time for the development of a Covid-19 vaccine is about 18 months or so.

Prof Yunus’s campaign has received pro-active responses from more than 25 Nobel laureates, scores of former presidents, former PMs, creative artists, social justice activists, business leaders, leaders of international organizations, academics, and hosts of political and faith leaders from all the continents.

Obviously, private sector research laboratories engaged in the development of vaccines will be expecting a return on their investments. The research results should be in the public domain, making it available to any pharmaceuticals that pledge to produce vaccines under strict international regulatory supervision.

Prof Yunus believes that if the vaccines are free from patent rights, the price will be affordable in the third world. Most of the developing countries’ hospitals are overwhelmed providing health care to coronavirus patients on their shoe-string budget.

The pandemic exposes the strengths and weaknesses of health care systems in different countries, as well as the obstacles and inequalities of access to health care.

Therefore, the campaign understands the cash-strapped developing countries will not be able to buy the vaccine in bulk. The global leaders demand that the availability of vaccines is a right and there must be free universal access to the vaccine for all.

Governments, foundations, international financial organizations like the WB, and the regional development banks have been urged to develop a strategy on how to make the vaccine available free of cost to inhabitants from all walks of life, be they from urban or rural areas, men or women, or living in rich or poor countries.

The campaign underpins the moral responsibility of the global leaders to develop an unambiguous procedure to determine what would be a fair level of this return in exchange for putting the vaccine in the public domain.

Saleem Samad is an independent journalist, media rights defender, and recipient of Ashoka Fellowship and Hellman-Hammett Award. He can be reached at [email protected]

Facebook 426
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail