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Saturday, March 6, 2021

Vaccine diplomacy


In a global system based on sovereign states, governments will naturally protect their citizens first. However, there are opportunities for multilateral cooperation to eventually provide vaccines to more countries and to better prepare for future pandemics

China is engaging in vaccine diplomacy — offering to sell its vaccines to countries in Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and elsewhere. If its vaccines prove effective, it would help to mitigate the damage that COVID-19 has done to China’s reputation.
It is reality that world has engaged in vaccine diplomacy. Wealthy or rich countries of the world are trying best to provide vaccine to their citizens. According to the most reliable resources Canada, The US, the UK, the Australia and EU lead the world in ordering most doses per person. Rich countries of the world can easily afford it and they had already allocated huge amount of money to purchase vaccine from the different manufacturing companies. But the question is where will poor countries go? How people of poor countries will get vaccine?
The poor world is worried about it and critics, intellectuals and human rights activists are trying to persuade the rich world to help the poor countries. But still these people haven’t got success. Now it seems that world is going to divide on this issue. Everyone needs vaccine badly but it is beyond the powers of poor countries to get it. Pakistan is also facing the same kind of circumstances. Government is trying its best to get vaccine as early as possible but still situation is not clear. Prime Minister Imran Khan has moved its economic team to use every possible source to get vaccine and he is also himself contacting different manufacturers of vaccine to get it. As PM has strong reputation and connections with the world so it is possible that he will get success. On the other hand Pakistan and China are working together.
Whatever the situation is, it is now acknowledged truth that vaccine diplomacy enveloping the world rapidly. China hopes to restore its image and boost its influence. Its Trading allies such as Brazil are at the head of the queue for Beijing’s huge drug distribution program. Brazil is among the countries worst hit by the pandemic, with over six million cases and nearly 170,000 deaths.
China has promised that 6 million doses of CoronaVac, made by the biotech firm Sinovac, will reach Brazil by January. São Paulo’s highly respected Butantan Institute, which is testing the vaccine, will get raw materials to make millions more.
On the other hand some critic’s point of view is that China’s vaccine diplomacy assumes geopolitical importance. Contrary to Washington, Beijing has pledged to share vaccines
Unlike the US, China has joined the vaccine partnership that aims to subsidize vaccine access for poorer countries and ensure equitable global distribution. All these facts are the best proof that China is playing vaccine diplomacy so effectively to increase its influence and to make its image more and better in the world particularly in the Asian countries. Pakistan and China had close friendly and brotherly relations. The whole world is aware about it. CPEC is a joint venture of both the countries. Now china has offered vaccine to Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh, India immediately came forward and trying to counter China by saying that India will distribute locally-made vaccine distributed to friendly nations. According to the official, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has already instructed India’s ambassadors and high commissioners in the neighborhood as well as other countries to assess the need of Covid vaccine in their respective areas and make it available when a vaccine is proven effective within the country. All these facts are worrying the well-wishers of humanity. Because Pandemic will not come to end if rich countries have vaccine and poor haven’t. There is a need to work for humanity not for diplomacy.

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