How can we deliver a Covid-19 vaccine to everyone in the world?
Thank you for covering the heartening news about Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine, which has shown 90 per cent effectiveness (November 10). The drug company said that it can produce 50 million vaccines in 2020 and 1.3 billion more in 2021. These doses are not enough. Pharmaceutical companies should increase production exponentially by involving their subsidiaries worldwide.
Although news of a potential breakthrough is great, perhaps it is best if we wait for the final results before declaring an effective vaccine has finally been found. Every country should finalise plans to inoculate its population within three months of the vaccine being freely available. Some countries have expressed concerns about their ability to source enough vials, syringes and needles to inoculate millions of citizens. They also have concerns about establishing an efficient cold chain to deliver the vaccine across the world.
These are surmountable hurdles. Governments in countries with large populations should gear large private companies to produce the equipment needed. Private companies also have robust cold chains and distribution systems that can reach remote areas.
There are two critical elements to ensure that countries inoculate their populations within three months of the vaccine being available. First, there has to be a decision at the highest executive level in every country, to make vaccination a priority. Secondly, strong national leadership, capable of delivering on these promises is required.
Rajendra Aneja, Dubai
Saeb Erekat: the world has lost a great advocate for Palestinians
I am writing to you in reference to a video posted on The National's Facebook page with the following caption: Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat dies of Covid-19. Erekat was a hero who fought for peace and freedom for the Palestinians. May he rest in peace.
Abdi Ngurusi, Kenya
India is proud of Kamala Harris and Americans should be too
I write to you in reference to your article Why Kamala Harris’s suffragette white suit is a beacon of hope for the future (November 9). After a heated race, the results of the American election have finally come out. Americans have decided that Joe Biden will be their 46th president. The government’s failure to curb the spread of the coronavirus, as well as its controversial migration policies, may have led to the downfall of Donald Trump.
The fact that Mr Biden’s running mate is a woman of Indian descent is a matter of great pride for ordinary Indians, given her inspirational story. The people have voted and it is now time to accept the outcome of the elections. It is sad to see that 1.3 billion Indians are more proud of Ms Harris’s success than some Americans who refuse to accept the results of the election. Kudos to President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.
K Ragavan, Bengaluru
Updated: November 11, 2020 06:48 PM