Apr 2, 2020 - World
The Humanity First push for a coronavirus vaccine
Policy responses to the global coronavirus crisis have been every-country-for-itself and — in the case of the U.S. and China — tinged with geopolitics.
The flipside: The scientific work underway to understand the virus and develop a vaccine has been globalized on an unprecedented scale.
Zoom in: Trump has boasted that in the race toward a vaccine, “America will get it done!”
- But the NY Times reports that a University of Pittsburgh lab on the cutting edge of vaccine research is collaborating with a research institute in Paris and a drug company in Austria. That group gets funding from an international organization based in Norway and is in talks about vaccine development with a major Indian manufacturer.
- Chinese researchers have contributed much of the coronavirus research now available to other scientists, the Times notes. And a team at Mass General hospital in Boston is testing possible treatments in conjunction with colleagues in Xi’an, China.
The good news: The global scientific community has perhaps never been so singularly devoted to one issue, and borders have not been a major barrier to that work.
But, but, but: Nationalism and geopolitics could still come into play in the eventual distribution of a vaccine, Axios’ Alison Snyder notes.
- There is a concern that the first countries to develop or obtain one could prioritize their own populations, and the vaccine would only reach some countries significantly later.