Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1154/33275

From The Socialist newspaper, 3 November 2021

Vaccine inequality - the ugly face of capitalism

Poorer nations in Africa and Asia face a struggle to obtain vaccines

Poorer nations in Africa and Asia face a struggle to obtain vaccines   (Click to enlarge)

Damien Cosgrove, Leicester Socialist Party

While a majority of adults in the advanced capitalist countries of Europe and North America have been fully vaccinated against the Covid-19 virus, in low-income countries of the 'global south' only 1.4% of people had received one dose as of September 2021.

For example, in the UK over 70% of the population has received at least one vaccination dose, whereas in nations like the Democratic Republic of the Congo this sits at a shocking 0.11%. Canada and the USA have a vaccination rate of 68% whereas the rate in the whole of Africa is a mere 8.5%.

Notwithstanding the supportive rhetoric from western capitalist leaders, less than 15% of promised vaccines to poorer countries have been received. Furthermore, despite the pandemic being an opportunity for greater global collaboration, many governments in richer countries have looked inward rather than outward by hoarding vaccines, while denying them to the vulnerable internationally.

Of course, this short-sighted response will allow the virus to mutate in the unvaccinated countries with the possibility of it becoming more infectious and deadly as it inevitably spreads around the world.

Waiving Covid patents

However, to frame this issue as one of limited charity is a dismissive and insulting way to look at the real structural inequalities affecting poorer nations.

There have been increasing calls from both richer and poorer nations, to waive the patents on vaccines to allow these low-income countries to develop their own vaccines without the fear of being sued.

Even though Covid vaccines have been developed through government-funded research (the US government, for example, has poured an additional $10.5 billion into pharmaceutical companies since the pandemic began) it seems the capitalist class is happy to sacrifice the lives of the global poor for the profits of the super-rich.

US president Joe Biden said in May 2021 that Covid vaccine patents should be temporarily waived. But that call has been resisted by the big pharmaceutical companies and blocked by governments in the UK, Canada and Germany, and by the EU council of ministers.

Biden's 'altruism' may simply be a response to Russia and China's use of 'vaccine diplomacy' to increase their global influence.

It should also be recalled that Biden, when part of president Clinton's federal administration, helped repeal legislation that obliged the US government to offer government-subsidised drugs to Americans at a "reasonable price" - thus allowing pharmaceutical companies to massively enhance their profits.

Modern imperialism

When the word 'imperialism' is used, typically people think back to a dark stage in history where Britain, among other states, toured the world enslaving nations and rinsing them of their resources.

However, imperialism is not a 'bad phase in history'; global exploitation is a fundamental part of capitalism, both historically and in modern society. The stymied vaccine rollout shows that even today the profits of elites are prioritised above the lives of ordinary people globally.

The future is one of increased globalised issues, with COP26 highlighting the necessity of global cooperation to seriously deal with the climate crisis.

We need to build a movement to transform the capitalist economy, both in Britain and internationally, from one of global exploitation and environmental destruction for the profits of the super-rich, to a democratic socialist system of production to achieve sustainable growth and to end global inequality and poverty.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • We must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 3 November 2021:


COP26

Socialist change to end climate change

Fight for socialism to end climate destruction

COP26 begins - workers strike for pay

COP26 News in brief


Campaigns news

Why I joined the Socialist Party

Fund the fight for a socialist world

Sheffield students tirelessly campaigning for socialist change

Hackney children's centres: Campaigners see through council deception

East London gentrification plans exposed


News

Fight for a real wage rise for all

Local government cuts set to continue - we need councillors prepared to fight

Race to top for bankers

Fight for a 15-an-hour minimum wage and an end to youth rates

Water companies put profits before protecting our environment

Tories threaten arts students: we are prepared to fight back!

Tory Universal Credit crumbs no solution to cost of living crisis

Tory plans won't fix social care

Pay freeze lifted for civil servants - prepare now for the struggle for a decent rise


Workplace news

NEU: Strategy needed to bring members together to take national action

Oaks Park school strike spurred on by head's lies

Scunthorpe scaffs strike into fifth week

Unite leaflets supermarkets to build support for Weetabix fire and rehire strike

Plant engineers pay dispute


Fighting sexism

Sexism, safety and the profit system


International news

Sudan - mass protests and general strike against coup

Chile: International solidarity campaign to free political prisoners

Vaccine inequality - the ugly face of capitalism

Hunger strike in Calais for refugee rights

Protests against Sudan coup reach Britain


 

Home   |   The Socialist 3 November 2021   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Capitalism:

triangleNews in brief

triangleWhy are things the way they are?

triangleBullying weighing room culture at the races

triangleMoney Heist: A Robin Hood tale set in modern-day capitalism

triangleThe fight for LGBTQ+ equality

Vaccine:

triangleEmployers use vaccine excuse to attack sick pay

triangleTory vaccine sacking threat set to deepen NHS staffing crisis

triangleTV review: Vaccine Wars: The Truth About Pfizer

triangleCovid-19: New variant emerges but same old capitalist disease

Inequality:

triangleMurder of Ashling Murphy sends shocks waves across Ireland and beyond

triangleGlobal inequality grows

triangleThe fall of Apartheid in South Africa

Global:

triangleCOP26 News in brief

triangleTory climate plans set to fail - socialist planning needed

Government:

triangleTories on the ropes - Build a workers' alternative

Covid:

triangleNo trust in Tories to keep us safe

Capitalist:

triangleBournemouth - angry people not represented by capitalist parties

International

International

19/1/22

Ireland

Murder of Ashling Murphy sends shocks waves across Ireland and beyond

19/1/22

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland: Workers fight threatened closure of women's hostel

19/1/22

Independent

US: Independent Socialist Group launches new paper

19/1/22

Kazakhstan

Eyewitness account of workers' uprising in Almaty, Kazakhstan

12/1/22

Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan: Working-class revolt only suppressed by massive mobilisation of troops

6/1/22

Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan: Unprecedented, simultaneous mass protests spread across

6/1/22

Chile

Chile's working class delivers vote against ultra-right

6/1/22

Chile

Chile's working class delivers a landslide vote against ultra-right Kast

15/12/21

Sudan

Sudan: End military rule and poverty

8/12/21

Solidarity

Unprecedented floods in British Columbia

8/12/21

Abortion

Defending abortion rights in the US

8/12/21

Nurses

Wider working-class and union struggle needed to win St Vincent nurses' strike

8/12/21

Chile

Chile presidential election - stop the far-right candidate

1/12/21

Argentina

Argentine elections see deepening polarisation

24/11/21

India

Historic victory of India's farmers

triangleMore International articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: [email protected]

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 077 7221 5281

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 078 0983 9793

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


January 2022

2021

2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999