Guyana, Africa, Caribbean watch and wait for vaccine
How and when will Guyana and other poor developing countries in the Caribbean, Latin America, Africa, and Asia receive the vaccine to fight (slow down) Covid-19 virus? They are watching and waiting for the vaccine because they do not have the capacity to develop one. Few have the resources to pay for the vaccine to vaccinate or immunize their population. And fewer have the resources or scientific ability to produce their own vaccine. So the poor countries will inevitably have to get the vaccine from those who produce it or produce it. Only four countries (UK, USA, Germany, Russia, all White countries) along with China and India have produced a vaccine that fights or is close to the virus. India produces over 60 percent of the world’s vaccines, and has orders to produce over three billion of the Covid vaccine. India is overwhelmed with orders but the Indian government says it has instructed manufacturers to expand their ability to save the world from the virus. It is amazing that decades ago, most of the world disappointed or had few positive things to say about India, including almost half Guyanese, and now the world is turning to India to get a vaccine for survival.
So how will Guyana or the poor countries get the vaccine? The country can order directly from India but how many vaccines can Guyana financially afford and how much India can supply given the whole world, including the four White countries that found a vaccine, which turns to India for orders? Vaccines can also be sourced from China that has introduced its version, which the developed world has avoided. Two African countries with scientific resources and a laboratory for vaccine development, Nigeria and South Africa, are embarking on the first phase of laboratory experimentation, and are therefore many months away from producing one; human trials are being conducted on one vaccine in South Africa. Mexico, Argentina, Brazil is experimenting in the first and second stages of vaccine development.
The World Health Organization has ordered one billion vaccines, less than a third of what is needed to immunize the population in poor countries with a single dose; two doses are needed. WHO manufacturer (s) ordered and how they are distributed are not reported. Presumably, the vaccines ordered by WHO would be distributed to the 92 poor countries proportionally on the basis of population size. The richer countries can afford the vaccine. India and China, with 2.9 billion people, will not need WHO vaccines because they use and pay for their own. The 1.2 billion people in the developed countries would also pay for their own vaccines. WHO-funded vaccines would go to poor countries, some three billion people, excluding India and China, Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Guyana may only get about 50K; it is reported that Guyana is also sourcing some 50K vaccines from India, still well over 1.6M needed. As a friendly ally, India is likely to facilitate Guyana’s bid but not before February. India plans to vaccinate 300M of its 1.4 billion citizens by then, training nearly 200K medical staff to carry out the immunization program which is set to begin in January.
And what vaccine should people take or Guyana order? Which is most effective or efficient? And has side effects. The side effects of the four vaccines that have been introduced would not be known until weeks after immunization. The four ‘White countries’ reported over 90 per cent effectiveness, meaning that 90 per cent of those tested in phase three (final) trials were working to disable or prevent a virus. China reported an efficiency of over 70 percent and Indian phase three trials so far are over 75 percent; one is nearly 99 percent although the human trials have been relatively small. Indian scientists want to continue testing before introducing a vaccine that is likely to be ready in early or mid-January. The Indian trial of the three vaccines is ongoing and a dozen more vaccines are in the pipeline finishing phase two, with six close to entering phase three, or final human trials that would take up to three months of experimentation and studies. The Indian government prefers to vaccinate its citizens with its own locally produced vaccine, likely in mid-January. As such, approval for immunization of the four introduced vaccines (White countries) is pending; approval is likely to be given for at least one developed in partnership with Indian scientists in a private drug production laboratory in India with trials on 29K Indians and currently being manufactured in India by the millions of bottles each day. India produces almost all, over 100m, of the advanced vaccine in Russian which is also being tested in India among thousands of Indians. The separate government-funded vaccine development (experiments, animal trials, human tests, and production) would be the cheapest and the Indian government under Prime Minister Modi is committed to making its government-funded vaccines available to the world with South Asia given priority. neighbours. The Modi government says it would work with governments around the world to make available vaccines that are being developed or manufactured in India. Modi has been interacting with leaders of developed countries in facilitating the production of vaccines in India and their transportation abroad.
Africa and other poor countries prefer not to rely on foreign vaccines, but they have no choice as they cannot get one anytime soon. But drug manufacturers in rich countries could hoard supplies, leaving poorer nations vulnerable. They would be better off loving India and China. The latter has been supplying vaccines to several friendly countries including Indonesia, and some Asian and Arabic countries have ordered the Chinese vaccine. European countries have not ordered the Chinese vaccine, favoring the American or German or British vaccines for reasons they will not disclose. Guyana should study all possibilities of efficacy and follow WHO advice on vaccine acquisition and or greater access to India.