Sisters of St. Joseph of CarondeletSeptember 22, 2021

Main News

Sister Fran Dempsey pens commentary on vaccines


Sister Francine Dempsey, CSJ had a commentary published in the Albany Times Union this week on the subject of vaccine equity. She writes:

Unprepared for the COVID-19 pandemic, America solved its problem with money, of which it had much and could always print more. Taxpayer money fueled a “warp speed” policy that made short work of testing, treatment and most especially vaccine research, production and distribution. The result: a vaccine supply large enough to inoculate every citizen three times.

But ongoing access to tests, treatments and vaccines in the United States is a sideline to the inequity of pandemic relief across the globe. Many statistics demonstrate this. For example, World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus noted that as of April, “More than 39 million doses of vaccine have now been administered in at least 49 high-income countries. Just 25 doses have been given in one hundred lowest-income countries. Not 25 million; not 25,000; just 25.”

To overcome global inequity, rich countries need to join together and share or sell their excess COVID-19 supplies and their “secret” testing, treatment and vaccine formulas to countries that lack them. Until now, sharing any supply globally, including excess supply, is minimal, while only a few poorer countries have the capacity to manufacture their own supplies. Some, like India, currently the world’s COVID-19 epicenter, have this capacity, but lack the “right” to rich countries’ formulas for manufacturing tests, treatments and vaccines, either for themselves or to share with or sell to other nations.

Read the full piece on the Times Union website