Vaccine Nationalism

Since our last podcast on the global search for a COVID-19 vaccine, featuring Dr. Chris Beyrer, multiple vaccine candidates representing countries and private corporations around the world have begun worldwide distribution in an effort to finally end the COVID-19 pandemic. However, this distribution has been heavily criticized for its unevenness, as higher-income countries have secured earlier access to massive amounts of vaccine relative to lower- and middle-income countries. In tandem, a manufacturing crisis has arisen in vaccine production, as demand has far exceeded supply, while vaccine hesitancy and misinformation have surged online. Many have referred to the underlying cause of this vaccine inequity as vaccine nationalism, where countries have prioritized widespread distribution of vaccine to their own citizenry above global distribution. In a pandemic that ignores borders and nationalities, many see this as a high-risk situation for the rise of more COVID-19 variants. Here to discuss with us is Jennifer Nuzzo.

Dr. Jennifer Nuzzo is a Senior Scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security and a Senior Fellow for Global Health at the Council on Foreign Relations. Dr. Nuzzo is also the lead epidemiologist for the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Testing Insights Initiative at the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. Together with colleagues from the Nuclear Threat Initiative and the Economist Intelligence Unit, she coleads the development of the first-ever Global Health Security Index, which benchmarks 195 countries’ public health and healthcare capacities, their commitment to global health security financing, and their individual risk environments.


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