The Case for Helping the World Get Vaccinated

Abstract: By buying up the vast majority of available vaccines and not using government powers to ramp up production, wealthy countries, including the United States, are making it all but impossible for poorer countries the get their citizens vaccinated. That’s shortsighted. As long as large swaths of the globe remains unvaccinated, we all remain at risk from a virus that is free to mutate rapidly and is already proving capable of evading at least one vaccine. The Biden administration is going to have to decide what role the U.S. government will play to ensure that poorer nations get the vaccine quickly and affordably. If the United States and other wealthy countries do not find a way to increase production and lower prices, people around the world will die unnecessarily and U.S. economic and geopolitical interests will suffer.