Vaccine Wars – Stabroek News

Dismissed by the brilliance, the colony of hanging bats fled the starchy mango tree that still bears little plump fruit, out of season. Under the leafy canopy of changing sunshine and shadows, it thrives on common weeds that some desperate people use to try and take care of COVID-19.

Early one morning, I admired butterflies and hummingbirds fluttering to the tiny bell-like purple flowers on the seedy, jagged spikes, but the toothed leaves favored in traditional folk medicine across the region . The plant’s load trucks, are being sold in parts of Jamaica with hucksters doing brisk business, media reports say.

Stachytarpheta jamaicensis, variously known as verven, bastard vervain, vervine, blue snake weed, anxiety and even Brazilian tea from the days when it was packaged and exported by that South American country as a herbal drink, among the bushes being boiled. up in bitter concoctions as anxious West Indians from Antigua to Tobago, struggle with illness, increased mortality and resentment over the apparent absence of vaccines in the ongoing pandemic, this side of the world.

For the many millions of us who do not work in the vital health sector or live in North Wales, we are largely alone, looking to green-fingered elders, our overgrown back yards and ‘ n Brochure governments waiting in deep uncertainty at the expected allocated wonder of global initiatives like COVAX, led by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance; the Coalition for Epidemic Readiness Innovation (CEPI) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

We only have to look at this week’s nasty fight between the European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom (UK) over the rare shots, as the vaccine wars erupt among the rich and privileged countries, to know what which does not come in bulk soon into the nearby airport. COVID-19 has outgrown the unwanted.

RAND Corporation, a leading US research institute, recently warned that while vaccine nationalism may seem inevitable, there are real economic consequences. If the poorest countries don’t get vaccines, the global economy will yield US $ 153B a year output, the group calculated.

He argued that major economies have more to gain by helping to make effective vaccine widely available globally. Based on estimates from Oxfam International in 2020, it would cost the US $ 25B to supply vaccines to lower-income countries. The United States, the UK, the EU, and other high-income countries together could lose about US $ 119B a year if supply to the poorest countries is denied. But if these high-income countries provided the funding for the vaccines, there could be a benefit-to-cost ratio of 4.8 to 1. This means high-income countries would return about US $ 4.80 per US $ 1 is spent.

Days ago, the head of WHO, Dr. Tedros We told Ghebreyesus that the world is facing “catastrophic moral failure” because of the unfair access to the stylish vaccines with rich countries securing most of the millions of doses.

Highlighting the emergence of fast-spreading variants, he referred to the concern “by several member states that have questioned whether COVAX will get the vaccines it needs, and whether high-income countries will keep the promises they have done. ”

“We now face the real danger that even as vaccines bring hope to some, they become another brick in the wall of inequality between the basics of the world and those that have none. It is right that all governments want to prioritize vaccination of their own health workers and older people first. But it is not right that younger, healthier adults in rich countries are being vaccinated in front of health workers and older people in poorer countries. ”

Dr Tedros said, “I need to be blunt: the world is on the brink of catastrophic moral failure – and the price of this failure will be paid to lives and livelihoods in the world’s poorest countries.” More than 39M doses of the vaccine have now been given in at least 49 higher-income countries. Only 25 doses have been given in one anonymous lower income country.

At the end of December, the West African Guinea nation injected 25 of its senior officials with doses of the Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine in Russia. Unencumbered by security concerns, national leaders on State television celebrated, “We are the guinea pigs,” one said, according to the NBC network. Almost a month later, there has been no single dose of licensed Western vaccine on the African continent, even as 60M doses are shared elsewhere. Canada pre-ordered enough potential doses to vaccinate its population nearly six times over, and the US has enough buy options to vaccinate all Americans nearly five times. A small group of wealthy nations, comprising just 16 percent of the world’s population, has locked up 60 percent of the global vaccine supply, according to the Duke University Institute of Global Health.

Australia, Canada and Japan account for one percent of the world’s coronary cases, but they have accumulated more doses than all of Latin America and the Caribbean, which have nearly 20 percent of cases. It is estimated that 96 percent of Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine supplies, and all Moderna vaccine will go West. Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine manufacturers, with 70% efficacy, stable at normal refrigerator temperatures and at a low price, have said that 64 percent of the doses will be for the developing world.

True to the member states of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), it is appalling – for most there have been no vaccines as yet. Barbados received just five valuable doses of the COVID-19 vaccine shared between key health officials and three Cabinet figures including Prime Minister Mia Mottley, a Barbados Link revealed earlier this month. For overseas dependent territories such as the Cayman Islands, the colonial connection with the rich has paid dividends with valuable shots coming in as well.

Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica are among the nations that have not made payments and signed agreements to buy vaccines through COVAX, which says it is on track to distribute at least 2B doses but by the end of the year, by include in minimum doses 1.3B to 92 lower income economies. Under an existing agreement with the Pune India Serum Institute, COVAX expects to receive its first 100M doses of the vaccine developed by AstraZeneca / Oxford University, set for distribution in the first quarter of the year, pending Listed Emergency Use WHO.

In a 2011 online article, UWI Today magazine, published by the University of the West Indies, the St Augustine Campus reported on an extensive ethnobotanical study conducted in Trinidad on the use of medicinal plants in 50 rural communities, comprising 450 households , as part of the larger TRAMIL (Traditional Medicine in the Islands) network throughout the Caribbean. He noted that in animal models, extracting from a verb or verb significantly reduces sensitivity to experimentally induced pain and inflammation.

The survey found that 43 plant species were used to ‘cool down.’ These include Cat’s claw (Macfadyena unguis), candle shrub or earthworm (Senna alata) with its brilliant yellow columnar flowers, the ubiquitous Caraille or bitter gourd (Momordica charantia) and the shiny Bush (Peperomia pellucida), the Common Lemon / Fever Grass (Cymbopogon citratus), and Jackass-Bitters or Zebapique (Neurolaena lobata), which we played with as children. Many of these grow in my garden. With our options coming to an end, we may have to turn to our back yards.

ID sings vintage “The weed song” by Bill Rogers about the old woman bush salesman – “From when I heard how much bush she had I left dumb until I couldn’t even talk. She started calling from Camp Street Corner, Never stop until she gets to Orange Walk… ”