There is no doubt that the emergence of the coronavirus pandemic will shake the understanding of the global system and the role of globalization around the world. Increasingly, countries are interested in domesticating “vital industries” because domestic priorities to avoid major shocks have outweighed geopolitical concerns. There has been much debate about Chinese mismanagement of information during the early stages of the pandemic and the geopolitical costs of rolling back when it comes to damaging altruistic or previously favorable relationships. However, I haven’t seen much discussion about the various moves the West has taken when it comes to making the vaccine and the impact that would have on future relationships.
There have been many questionable decisions by the United States and its European allies when it comes to manufacturing vaccines. From engaging in the COVAX initiative to ensure a fair global distribution of vaccines to sabotaging the goals of organizations by violating their principles and securing private deals with vaccine manufacturers directly by leveraging their economic power, to securing more vaccines method than is required to generate herd immunity in the general population on an urgent basis – it has been Many of these films undermined the desire of the United States and the West for a system based on global rules.
The West was also reticent to allow the WTO to loosen patent restrictions for coronavirus manufacturers in the Global South (with the exception of AstraZeneca, which was a result of public research at the University of Oxford). And now, it is perhaps the most egregious diplomatic mistake that appears to conflict with US global interests and signals a shift inward when the United States continues to restrict any export of critical raw materials for many low-cost vaccines such as AstraZeneca and Novovax despite having vaccinated in More than a third of its population – while the Global South is largely deprived of even any form of access to vaccine.
I haven’t seen many indications about this in the US media (which is not very surprising given how isolated it is), but I have noticed a rise in the wave of discontent in the media as well as public discourse around other countries (notably India, which is producing the bulk of the vaccine for the COVAX initiative. ).
The latest controversy appears to be the US response to Indian diplomatic efforts to provide raw materials for important vaccines to the Serum Institute, the world’s largest producer of vaccines, and the company expects to produce vaccines for half of the world’s population (mainly in the global South). ).
While I can see why the United States and Western Europe are prioritizing vaccinating their own populations – the apparent inequality in vaccine distribution has allowed Russia (Sputnik V) and China (Sinopharma) to occupy the space of “ vaccine diplomacy. ” Has the West chosen to prioritize short-term domestic gains at the expense of long-term suspicion in the West and Western ideals of globalization and common markets in the rest of the world?