Understanding the challenge surrounding the Covid-19 vaccine campaign

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Gautam Araya, a medical student who has studied in Manila Central University and Nepal Institute of Science and Management. She is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.


The world has seen a pandemic threatening economy and health, in all the seven continents.  This ripple effect has been augmented and intensified in the poorer regions. Now, that vaccines are being manufactured, one cannot help but wonder when poorer countries will be able to receive access to them.

A lot of countries cannot even afford the vaccine. An Oxfam study revealed that industrialized countries have already secured more than 5 billion vaccines. This in fact raises the question if sufficient doses will be left for the marginalized countries since pharmaceutical companies have already said that the supply cannot exceed the demand.

In poor, tropical areas like Africa or the Philippines another challenging aspect is the storage. The BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine used in Britain, for example, has to be cooled at minus 70 degrees Celsius. With already limited funding, these countries are struggling to even store them, since electricity fridges are quite expensive, not forgetting to mention the power cuts that lurk them.

Health expert Yap Boum sees another challenge. “We anticipate some resistance from people receiving the COVID-19 vaccine because of the debate around the vaccines.’ A Pulse Asia survey conducted last year showed that nearly half or 47 percent of Filipinos will not have themselves vaccinated against COVID-19 due to safety concerns. With an already devastating death toll these poorer nations cannot afford to give in to such dangerous myths.

Nepal, a country with difficult geography and terrains with almost no roads connecting the villages in the mountains, getting inoculated seems unreal. No health worker nor a single doctor has been to the area, nonetheless reports stating infections have been recorded by the locals. This makes inoculation to be a Herculean task.

In India with the world’s largest population there lies another hurdle of making sure each and every one is vaccinated as India’s rural population is immense.

Latest findings from Gaon Connection Insights stated that, 26% of households surveyed have confirmed that their family members were tested positive for the virus. Among that statistics, 59% reported that at least one person in their household had tested positive. The government should make sure every individual can avail to the vaccine, since there is such deep infiltration of the virus in the society. It looks dreary and grim, nonetheless.

A pitiable attempt to curb the smuggling of vaccines was noted in the Philippines. According to the military, PSG members were the ones who had been administered with the said vaccine, eliciting criticisms from the public who questioned the prioritization. If such happens, in more countries we might get into the hierarchical system where the rich are safer, and the poor with no means die of the disease; A moral conundrum, indeed.

With that being said, one must never forget that we are in this together and as rich nations get ahead with the vaccines a small helping hand to the poorer nations can always result in better outcomes.

About the author

The writer is a medical student who has studied in Manila Central University and Nepal Institute of Science and Management, an avid learner, passionate writer and a public advocate of community health rationally established by conducting seminars, participating and having a direct conversation with the patients. Araya’s strength lies on developing a consistent and trusting relationship with the patients in the hospital as well in the community.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

How women in developing countries can harness e-commerce

Climate change is forcing 20 million people a year from their homes, Oxfam says

Banks get trillions and the unemployed ECB’s love…

UN chief condemns terror attack in Kismayo, Somalia

Paradise islands of Pacific increasingly vulnerable to climate change, as UN boosts resilience

Having a baby during COVID-19 gave me new respect for the job ‘mom’

LEAGUE OF YOUNG VOTERS LAUNCHES TOOL FOR YOUNG PEOPLE TO COMPARE POLITICAL PARTIES AHEAD OF EU ELECTIONS

UN agency helps stranded Ethiopians return home, ending ‘harrowing migration ordeal’

Data show EU Economy in a stubbornly subdued state

Stronger partnerships with post-conflict countries needed to ensure ‘path towards durable peace’: UN chief

COVID-19: latest on evaluation and authorisation of vaccines

Europe is no longer an innovation leader. Here’s how it can get ahead

COVID-19 vaccines: MEPs quiz top officials on authorisation and contracts

Gender equality in STEM is possible. These countries prove it

Flexible jobs can make work-life balance worse, a German study finds

UN condemns deadly attack one of its vehicles

MEPs approve EU’s spending in 2017

Is Germany yielding to pressures for more relaxed economic policies?

Modernising EU justice systems: New package to speed up digitalisation of justice systems and boost training of justice professionals

The European Sting @ Mobile World Congress 2014, Creating What’s Next for the World. Can EU Policy follow?

Spring 2020 Economic Forecast: A deep and uneven recession, an uncertain recovery

These are the world’s most future-proof cities

Yemen: 11 more ‘terrible, senseless’ civilian deaths reported, following attack in Sana’a – top UN official

Cyber-Risk Assessments: the vaccine for companies in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Boris Johnson’s no-deal Brexit to differ when issued from 10 Downing St.

Some truths about the coronavirus, according to the World Health Organization

Do not jeopardise future-oriented EU programmes, say EP’s budget negotiators

Asylum: MEPs call for more solidarity among EU member states

Business should be joyful – just ask the sports world

Kids who live in the countryside have better motor skills, a study in Finland has found

Women must have an equal share in politics, say MEPs and national MPs

Jeroen Dijsselbloem new Eurogroup president

70 years after the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, this is why we need dignity more than ever

GSMA announces first speakers for Mobile 360 Series-Middle East and North Africa

Business could learn plenty about cybersecurity from the secret state

A Sting Exclusive: “Stronger Cybersecurity for a safer EU against cybercrime and cyber threats”, by MEP Dalli

Economic recovery won’t tackle youth unemployment problem

These are the countries that have made their climate commitments law

Yellen and Draghi tell Trump and markets not to expedite the next crisis

More than 90 per cent of Africa migrants would make perilous Europe journey again, despite the risks

Central African Republic: UN chief hails signing of new peace agreement

What Keynes can teach us about government debt today

COVID-19 and its empathic social lessons

MEPs back first EU management plan for fish stocks in the Western Mediterranean

The costs of corruption: values, economic development under assault, trillions lost, says Guterres

Green economy ‘not to be feared, but an opportunity to be embraced’ says UN chief as COP25 gets underway

Vaccination: understanding the challenges surrounding COVID-19 vaccination campaigns

Commission approves emergency measures to protect eastern Baltic cod

Coronavirus: EU funding for the transport of medical goods, medical teams and patients

Importance of teaching ethics in Brazilian Medical Schools

New EU telecom rules: latest actions in time for transposition deadline

Why the fight against nature loss should be a business priority

‘Bicycle Kingdom’ makes a comeback, as China seeks solutions to tackle air pollution crisis

Bosnia and Herzegovina: MEPs concerned by slow progress in EU-related reforms

CDNIFY @ TheNextWeb 2014

Global immunization is having its annual check-up. What can we learn?

Palliative care effectiveness at Universal Health Care: an eminent need

Women who crushed the gender barrier in medicine

Energy Union: EU invests a further €800 million in priority energy infrastructure

ITU Telecom World 2017 on 25-28 September in Busan, Republic of Korea

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s