"What is vaccine nationalism?"
The idea of vaccine nationalism has existed for a long time, but the Covid-19 pandemic shed a brighter light on the notion of a 'my country first' approach to global health.
When investigating the idea of vaccine nationalism, we need to consider what might drive some countries to pull up their drawbridges, prioritising their own population's needs. Could such an approach be drive by economic protectionism or a desire to elevate the leader's status by appearing as the saviour of the people to ensure re-election? Consider also the buying power of developing countries. How will such nations afford to purchase vaccinations? How will they afford the associated refrigeration costs associated with some vaccines? Will wealthier nations rush to purchase vaccinations and stockpile them? Could nationalism be beneficial to some countries and their people? Why does nationalism tend to have negative connotations? What would be the impact of a country not being able to access adequate supplies of vaccines?
While this issue currently relates to the Covid-19 pandemic, it also relates to any vaccine for any virus that needs to be tackled for public and global health reasons.
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
— Director General of the World Health Organisation (WHO)
The Director General discusses the need for the world to cooperate on developing a coronavirus vaccine and says countries should not be nationalistic about its development
The sources of information that you have considered above include:
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organisation (WHO) outlined the need for the world to cooperate on developing a coronavirus vaccine and says countries should not be nationalistic about its development in this video.
The Gates Foundation pledged $250M to fight COVID-19 worldwide. Watch the video and read about this here.
BBC News reported on the impact of rich countries hoarding vaccines in December 2020. Read more here.
Richard Hatchett, CEO at the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations has commented that, "Global politics and vaccine scarcity are the biggest challenges to ensuring that a future COVID-19 vaccine will be available in the world’s poorest countries. Managing the scarcity of a vaccine in a context that is highly politically charged is the biggest challenge. The biggest challenge to global access and equity and equitable access for developing countries is a phenomenon that I’ve sometimes referred to as vaccine nationalism". Read the article here and watch the video here.
BBC News reported in early January 2021 on the significant progress made by Israel in relation to the country's vaccination programme. Read the report here.
Democracy Now! news and documentary channel reported in January 2021 that human rights groups are expressing alarm over Israel's decision not to vaccinate Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza, where about 1,500 people have died during the pandemic. Watch the report here.
Now that you have considered the six sources of information above, complete the following tasks:
In no more than a few sentences, summarise the arguments made by the six sources above.
Can you identify a counter-argument to or information that is missing from the reports or views of one or more of the sources above?
Evaluate the possible values and limitations of each of the four sources above. Use the measurements in the image below to help guide you:
Being an effective critical and creative thinker does not mean that you immediately have the 'right' answers. Effective thinking requires you to pose effective and essential questions. By practising this skill you will become more adept at thinking about issues in a broader and interconnected manner. You will be able to get to the heart of the matter by probing deeply important issues, such as vaccine nationalism.
What is an effective question?
A good question….
Is thought-provoking & intellectually engaging, often sparking discussion & debate.
Calls for higher-order thinking, such as analysis, inference, evaluation, prediction. It cannot be effectively answered by recall alone.
Points toward important, transferable ideas within (and sometimes across) disciplines.
Raises additional questions & sparks further inquiry.
Requires support and justification, not just an answer.
Recurs over time; that is, the question can & should be revisited again & again.
Your task is to construct three effective questions about vaccine nationalism that meet at least three of the criteria of a good question, shown above. Take a look at the question structures below to help you get started:
How would it be different if....?
What are the reasons....?
What if we knew....?
What is the purpose of....?
What would change if....?
How influential was……in……?
How does…..relate to…..?
How might……help us to understand…..?
What does…..reveal about…..?
Could……have happened without…..?
Does…..matter when trying to understand the reasons for….?
Your next task is to offer your ideas to the six questions shown on the image below. You should also note two questions that you would like to ask at this stage. You can download this as a pdf by clicking on the image.
Being able to construct questions and speak confidently about an issue are important skills, but these skills must be complemented by equally strong listening skills.
When you enter into a discussion, you should participate by listening more than talking. Do not simply interrupt or wait for a space to express your views. Effective communicators listen and ask questions.
It is important to note that when you offer feedback to your peers online or in a face-to-face environment you do so without judgement of one idea being right/wrong or superior/inferior. You should approach feedback as though you are providing your honest thoughts and questions, not criticisms. That you may not agree with your peers, does not mean that your peers are 'wrong' about their ideas. They may be misinformed. They may have misinterpreted an idea or statistic or other piece of evidence; or you may be 'wrong'!
Always approach feedback as a means to move forward a conversation. You can offer suggestions to refine an idea; you can view feedback as a way to share what you have learned from your peers or to gain further clarity.
Look at the Harvard University Ladder of Feedback that is attached below to help you become a more effective communicator, listener and learner.
You should add at least two feedback comments (using the Harvard Ladder of Feedback below) to your peers about their answers to the six questions required for Task C.
Use the arrows to click through the three slides below. Select one of the key questions that you are drawn to. Click on the 'Learn more' button to find out more about the specific issues.
Carry out some independent research about vaccine nationalism. Click through the slides below to identify the three guiding questions and links to some suggested articles.
You can use the Compass Points Thinking Routine to engage in visible thinking. This strategy has been adapted from the book Making Thinking Visible: How to Promote Engagement, Understanding and Independence for All Learners, by Ron Ritchhard, Mark Church, and Karin Morrison.
The purpose of the Compass Points Thinking Routine is for you to consider a topic from different perspectives. This routine will help you to explore the various sides of an idea before taking a stand, expressing an opinion and making a decision.
Click through the questions below to help you develop your critical and creative thinking skills.
(compass point thinking)
E = Excited
What excites you about the development of several vaccines?
What’s the upside?
Click through the slides below that outline the final project task.
Consider all of the research that you have undertaken about vaccine nationalism