US takes a leadership role in vaccinating world | By Haya Fatima Sehgal


US takes a leadership role in vaccinating world

WE recently received some good news from G-7 Summit, which just took place in Cornwall, UK; as the seven countries pledged to donate more vaccines to middle/low-income countries.

The summit brings forth more amity on their multilateral policy on note “Bring Back Better World (B3W).”

The vaccine donations are being hailed as a remarkable effort in terms of human empathy, leadership and goodwill.

The G-7 summit consists of the seven countries: US, Canada, Japan, France, United Kingdom, Italy and Germany.

Leaders from Australia, India, South Korea and South Africa were also invited. The group of world leaders have been making tangible efforts for global welfare successfully.

Their status of democracy has been proclaimed in world which makes them the superpowers today that developing countries covet.

Some of the salient features of the G-7 summit action points were: a minimum global tax of 15%, increasing world vaccinations donations by the member countries, strengthening the ‘One Health’ approach, harness the power of democracy for the respect of human rights, fair trade policies, supporting the environment, securing the internet and collaborating on future technologies for the common good.

Before President Joe Biden boarded his plane to leave for the UK, he had given hints about some significant plans for the world.

He and his counterparts seem to be committed to the efforts of best practices and just plain good old humanity as world leaders should be doing.

The US has pledged to donate 500 million vaccination doses of the Pfizer vaccine to countries which need them urgently. This is in addition to the $2 billion dollars already pledged previously by it to COVAX.

Many are given to understand this is a soft power policy at its best. And a few already shared in sentiments that whatever the case, this would be welcome here in Pakistan.

Earlier this month, the US donated oxygen cylinders, medical kits and other resources which were flown in and received in the capital city of Islamabad.

For developing countries, such as Pakistan, vaccine hesitancy has been coupled with the fact that people have been blamed for what is being termed as ‘shopping for options’ on vaccinations rather than settle for the Chinese offerings. The fact of the matter remains that the American doses reign as being the most sought-after.

Currently, there is a bit of confusion on the eligibility tiers for the previously donated Pfizer jabs in Pakistan as the average civilian cannot access them as of now.

We are hoping that there will be decisions made soon on acquiring more top tier vaccines via different channels.

The US has had a relatively smooth rollout process in vaccinating its own population.

Now we also see with the generous donations, it is leading the effort to vaccinate the world, making it safe again.

Pak-US Relations have been based on some great diplomatic endeavours. The current governance in Pakistan has taken immense measures to maintain these relations as was done through with all previous US administrations.

Pakistan has long enjoyed goodwill benefits, aid and support in various ways by the US.

It has kept its faith as allies throughout, especially these last two decades being termed as a multi-faceted partnership; in areas such as education, energy, trade, investment and security.

The geo-economics trend, which is now the catchphrase used freely by our authorities, seems to now have an open invitation to build infrastructure; something which is welcomed for all interested. How this fits into BRI or any other project is yet to be seen.

Through everything we have found that the US remains a good friend of Pakistan through many trials faced in fighting terrorism, through to providing aid and support when needed and much more; this is something which we must acknowledge and thank.

—The writer, based in Islamabad, is known for her articles on cultural impact.

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