Jakarta. Countries are now more willing to champion global vaccine access as some are more than halfway to their vaccination target, thus making vaccine nationalism not as strong as before, a think-tank founder told a recent press conference.
Vaccine nationalism is one of the world’s biggest threats in the war against Covid-19.
The issue was apparent in the first year of the pandemic, as countries had to think of saving their own population first. Dino Patti Djalal —the founder of think-tank Foreign Policy Community of Indonesia (FPCI)— said that vaccine nationalism was very strong last year.
“But I think the mindset is going to shift, in a sense that developed countries are feeling more assured of their vaccination. Some countries have reached 70-80 percent vaccination [rate],” Dino said at a press briefing on Friday.
"They now feel more secure about their condition, and are willing to consider that unless the whole world gets vaccinated, none of us will be totally safe. Vaccine nationalism is less so in 2021, compared to 2020,” he said.
The former diplomat pointed out how countries such as the US are making vaccine donations to the global population. The world will also likely see more vaccine brands in the future.
“Hopefully, vaccine internationalism will replace vaccine nationalism,” Dino said.
FPCI’s flagship marathon discussion Global Town Hall will make a return on Saturday, starting at 8.30 a.m. Jakarta time.
One of the sessions will zero in on the challenges of vaccinating the global population. Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi is expected to give a keynote speech.
Among the panelists in the session are Malaysia's Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, and Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention director-general George Fu Gao.
As well as Bruce Aylward, the senior advisor to the World Health Organization (WHO) director-general. Ayoade Olatunbosun-Alakija, the co-chair of African Vaccine Delivery Alliance (AVDA), will also share her perspective. Acting as the panel moderator is Tjandra Yoga Aditama, a member of the Covax Independent Allocation of Vaccines Group (IAVG).