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Solidarity Regarding Vaccine Disparities


Many of us are deeply discouraged, angered, and in grief over the current COVID-19 spikes in India and South America. Those of us with friends and family in the global South may be grieving lost lives or living in fear that we will lose a loved one. All of us may be feeling frustrated and perhaps guilty for being on the privileged side of what has become a vaccine apartheid. As reported by the UN World Health Organization, 82% of COVID-19 vaccines have gone to high-income countries, while only 0.2% have gone to low-income countries. This starkly unequal distribution of vaccines can make us feel helpless and hopeless, thinking, “What can I do?” There are actually a few things we can do to make a difference. On Sunday, it became clear that public pressure on the US government has helped. The White House announced that U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai will start talks on how to “get this vaccine more widely distributed, more widely licensed, more widely shared.” Here are a few ideas of how we can help by using our privilege to hold The White House accountable to follow through on that promise:

- Reach out to any loved ones / friends / family to share your availability to support in whatever way you can.

- I realize this one is pretty obvious, but crises sometimes call for new ways to support that we haven’t thought of before. For example, I’ve been communicating with an old friend in rural Kenya who has been grateful for my help researching local COVID news on the internet and sharing succinct info with her because it is now more difficult for her to access electricity or cell service for sustained periods.

- Again, take care of yourself and loved ones!

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