Vaccine and Politics

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Afrasianet - Dr. Abdel Moneim Saeed - A year after the "pandemic" or a little more, it has hurt mankind; Illness, death, economic decline, and psychological and neurological problems. As between countries and humanitarian groups, it was not without conflicts that varied from the beginning of the identification of the coronavirus until we reached the moment that seemed very distant at the time, which is the discovery, production and distribution of the vaccine.

In the first, the political struggle was over who started the disease, and then over who would bear responsibility for its spread, and who has the ability to combat it. The matter was not without major debates in which countries, groups, and school of thought were partisan; The race took place between "democratic" and "authoritarian" political systems that have the capacity to withstand the epidemic.

The scourge has become part of international relations, and in a way the parallels between the story of the virus and the narrative of the American elections made what is happening in the United States part of the global situation facing something that humanity had not known before.

It is true that the world knew the epidemic before, and in the memory the experience of the "Spanish flu" was present all the time, which led to the death of 50 million people between 1918 and 1923. But the world was not what it is now, and there was no global organization like the United Nations and the World Health Organization, talking about the "international community", and the "League of Nations" was still in its infancy, and even after it had crossed the cradle, it had neither the capacity nor the legitimacy.

That would allow it to deal with a disaster of this magnitude, and there were no global means of communication that pumped into the world all the numbers of injuries and deaths around the clock, nor were there those common issues about opening and closing doors for travel and interaction with other world peoples.

All the experiences in closing and conquering were global, and there were internal political camps between this and that, and in all cases the world was learning from the difference that there was no single successful formula for dealing with Corona, nor was there a single failed picture as well. In countries such as New Zealand, South Korea and China, the cases quickly peaked and then declined to zero, and again again, and every time there was experience and science.

Mankind has passed through many mutual accusations, most of them between China and the United States, and the accusations were not without the "conspiracy theory" that accuses the responsibility either of countries or unknown forces of evil. But the global consensus was that the discovery of the vaccine will be a breaking point after which humanity will escape from its crisis after humans are vaccinated against the virus.

That happy ending was taken from two movies that came out of the cloak of "Hollywood", "Outbreak" and "Contagion", where the complex story ends with reaching the "zero" state at which the epidemic began, and then the vaccine can be prepared that saves the hero or heroine or both.

Together, then comes the word "end." Reality was not at all like this, so the story was continuing, and the dispute between humans and the conflict between countries took new forms. It was not possible to imagine that when the vaccine would come, quite a few people would reject it, and among them were doctors and nurses who thought it was a hoax of another kind.

The conspiracy theory came again and hinted that the vaccine would have a chip that would follow the person and keep them under surveillance and control. The less flying humans have tended to wait and their attitude towards the vaccine hinges on their political stances.

In the United States, a survey conducted in February by the Pew Research Center showed that 69% of American adults either have received at least one dose of the vaccine, or intend to be vaccinated when they can.

But there remains a deep partisan divide in preparing for vaccinations, and in how Americans view the threat posed by the pandemic. The work of the Pew Center for Public Opinion Polls, and other recent polls, has found that Democrats are more willing than Republicans to receive a vaccine, and are more likely to be concerned about the pandemic's public health implications.

CBS News released a poll conducted between March 10 and 13 that showed 33% of Republicans say they will not get the vaccine when it becomes available to them, while only 10% of Democrats said the same.

These results come on the heels of a recent poll conducted by NPR and PBS, which found that 47% of people who supported former President Donald Trump in the 2020 elections say they would not choose to be vaccinated (versus 10% of Biden supporters), according to a Monmouth University poll. Earlier, 59% of Republicans either wanted to wait and "see how it goes" before getting vaccinated, or said they would likely not get vaccinated, and by contrast, 23% of Democrats felt the same way. But the political division on the issue of vaccination is not limited to party tendencies and support for presidential candidates, but extends to races and ethnicities.

It is well established that the incidence of coronavirus was significantly higher among blacks and people of color in general than among white Americans. Analysts attributed this to disparities in health care - including the disproportionate and devastating death rate for coronavirus in black societies, and the current lag in the number of black people getting the COVID-19 vaccine compared to their white counterparts.

However, in a report published in The Daily Beast on March 19, after many concerns about the rejection of the vaccine among blacks, it was found to be out of place after watching the effectiveness of the vaccine and receiving information about the safety of the injection.

What happened was the exact opposite, as it turned out that 56% of white Republican respondents said they would definitively not get a vaccine for the Coronavirus, or that they are not sure, while only 31% of blacks and 30% of Latinos said the same.

Unfortunately, there is not much information available about the political divisions within other countries regarding the tendency to deal with available vaccines. All this hype and political and ethnic disagreement may be just another stage in dealing with the epidemic, which in spite of everything does not seem completely separate to human beings in the near future completely.

It is more likely that the next or post-vaccination phase will witness many studies that measure problems and offer approaches to deal with them after it remains after all that the experience was global and common, whether it was in the health aspect, the economic or the political side.

What we know at this moment is that every country in the world may have its own story and peculiarities, but at the same time it represents a global experience that countries cannot deal with alone.

It is true that the trial of vaccines proved once again that those with strength, ability and knowledge had the largest and fastest share of the vaccine. But that is not and will not be enough for them to survive another virus.

Can WHO lead the way in dealing with other viruses? And if the Security Council has a role in international peace and security issues, will the organization have a similar role with regard to disease and its spread?


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