UK is now far enough ahead with vaccines to help the third world
News Letter editorial of Tuesday June 1 2021:
After almost 18 months of public anxiety over Covid, the vaccination programme is one of the great success stories.
In the UK even young adults are now receiving their first dose.
It cannot come soon enough after many months of frustration, when people have put their lives on hold.
Above all young people, who are barely at any risk from Covid and are far,far more likely to be killed in a road accident, have made huge sacrifices to protect the elderly, who are greatly at risk from the pandemic.
The average age of people who die with coronavirus is similar to the average of people who die in normal times, both in the early 80s.
Even if there is another wave of the virus, it will be very hard indeed to justify yet another lockdown, and yet more damage to children’s education, yet more lost opportunities for students, yet more damage to industries such as hospitality, while other sections of the population are untouched, and get pay rises, often at taxpayer expense.
The vaccination programme is central to the UK’s exit route.
But very soon western nations need to think about helping the poorest.
The global wealth balance is already a stain on the morality of the world, with billions of people still having to endure a standard of living that even the poorest people in Britain are spared.
Substandard healthcare in whole swathes of the planet, including most of sub Saharan Africa, is a particular horror.
Cross-party MPs and peers have urged Boris Johnson to to a ‘one in, one out’ policy when it comes to vaccines. For every dose bought for use in Britain, the signatories want the UKto donate a dose to the UN-backed Covax scheme.
We are now far enough ahead with our vaccine programme to begin to do just that.
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