Without "internationalist" COVID-19 response, low-income countries may go unvaccinated until 2024, say Canadian academics

In an op-ed, Canadian academics Dr. Marie-Joëlle Zahar and Dr. Maïka Sondarje challenged the notion that COVID-19 is a "great equalizer", arguing that COVID-19 and its impacts will be "experienced differently by the Global North and South".

Despite statements from many countries supporting universal vaccine access, there is a risk that some low-income countries will not receive COVID-19 vaccines until 2024, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

A "nationalist" approach to COVID-19 is limited in its ability to address the pandemic's consequences. The authors suggest that Canada take a truly "international" approach by:

  1. Temporarily suspending intellectual property rules; 
  2. Advocating for migrants' and refugees' access to healthcare;
  3. Raising budget allocations for international assistance portfolios; 
  4. Preventing violent conflicts; and 
  5. Supporting international organizations.

Op-ed - Open Canada