Vaccine Nationalism: ‘Inequality between nations is increasing’

The distribution of vaccines in the world affects everyone, yet rich western countries arrange the largest number of vaccines for themselves. National solutions in a time of international problems. Does this help us more? at De Nieuws BV Patrick Loders speaks with Lau Schollbin, Associate Professor of Cultural Anthropology and Development Studies at Radboud University in Nijmegen and Dave Buren, Africa correspondent.

Schollbin: “Vaccine nationalism means that when looking for vaccines and getting vaccines, you first have to look at your country. This is harmful and myopic. We are all vaccinated and the rest of the world has not been vaccinated, we still have an equally big problem. ”

South Africa

“People in South Africa are very anxious,” Burin says. “They are waiting there for vaccines. It is very difficult to get Pfizer and Astrazeneca vaccines to be tested there, but the actual vaccinations are not there. You can attribute that to the vaccination nationalism that is definitely happening in the West now.”

Burin: “With all the doses currently reserved for the African continent, only 20 percent of the population can be vaccinated. That’s very little, it should go up to 60 percent. It’s really everyone’s for themselves. Not considered. The south and that’s worrying, because if the virus persists in Roaming in Africa and mutating, the world will not be safe from Coronavirus.

Burin: “Western countries have more than 50% of all vaccines. So the poorest countries in Africa hardly have any vaccines.”

Minister Cage

“Politicians still feel essentially supplying their population,” says Shulbin. “They are also not required to be held accountable. The Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Minister of Foreign Trade Kaag said in describing her job that she should represent the interests of developing countries in the Cabinet, but I did not hear her about this.”

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“She should speak out against this vaccine nationalism and the myopia also prevalent in Dutch policy regarding these vaccines. She is set for that. I expect more from her. I think she will start the debate in the Netherlands. This point must be drawn.”

According to Schulpen, you cannot protect the population if you only vaccinate your population: “You should also pay attention to other countries in the world. Imagine that we are all vaccinated in Europe and not in Africa. Trade with Africa is flat? We will not travel to Africa anymore? We have to We are dealing with it anyway. “

Help from China and Russia?

African countries receive aid mainly from China. Burin: “Many African countries are happy with this help. You can already see in recent decades that the influence of China has grown in Africa. Now these vaccines are on top of that. The Chinese president has promised that vaccines from China will become a free commodity.”

Shulbin begins to laugh: “It fits perfectly with the strategy that China has followed in recent years.” We are your brothers, respond differently to the West, and help you. “It’s exactly the same story that they’ve been doing for 20 years. Years. They are helping, but we still have to see what they can provide. It has to be produced and brought to him. The actual delivery won’t be that fast at the moment.”


Schollbin hopes that a large portion of Europe’s population will be vaccinated in one year. “This will not be the case in Africa and large parts of Asia. The division that already exists will only be strengthened. So inequality between countries will only increase. This will not have far-reaching consequences for only those countries, but also for those countries. United

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