Lives First, Profits Later: How To Close the Global Vaccine Gap
June 8, 2021
In the U.S., it’s easy to think we’re in the final chapter of this global pandemic. Baseball stadiums have replaced cardboard cutouts with screaming fans, and the aroma of fresh popcorn is wafting once again from movie theaters’ open doors. As of this recording, more than 60% of US adults have now received at least one dose of the vaccine, and unused doses are available to anyone over the age of 12.
But the U.S. is, in many ways, an outlier. The entire continent of Africa accounts for 1% of the world’s vaccine administrations, and countries in Asia and South America still lack meaningful access to vaccines. Added to this, variants have made COVID-19 more contagious and, in some cases, more deadly. This is the global vaccine gap.
The global vaccine gap is both a human rights and a racial justice issue. Many of the communities left vulnerable are communities of color. The scale of the problem has united activists and organizations from around the world, including at the ACLU, to identify solutions and fast.
For many of the human rights activists and experts, the urgency is part of their lived experience on the ground. This episode, we’ll hear some of their stories and learn from one of the ACLU’s human rights experts what needs to be done.
Special thanks to the International Network for Civil Liberties Organizations (INCLO) for helping make this podcast happen, especially Colin Gonsalves, Nersan Govender, Vivian Newman, and Lucila Santos.
To support our INCLO partners featured in this episode, please see below.
Human Rights Law Network in India: https://www.hrln.org/.
Legal Resources Centre in South Africa: https://lrc.org.za/
Dejusticia in Colombia: https://www.dejusticia.org/