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Canada needs to unite globally to fight pandemic

Dear Editor,

As phase one of the vaccine rollout unfolds, anticipation and anxiety reaches towering heights. Canada has secured over 400 million doses of both the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines. While this brings propitious hope to Canadians, the millions of lives in underprivileged countries are left deserted.

The pandemic has torn us Canadians apart in every way but has taught resilience and made us value our privilege. Canadians can rely on one another, reach out for help, and are equipped with the necessary tools and guidance to encounter the pandemic. At the local, national, and provincial levels, there are support systems that help us cope through these unprecedented times.

“More than 39 million doses of vaccine have now been administered in at least 49 higher-income countries. Just 25 doses have been given in one lowest-income country. Not 25 million; not 25 thousand; 25,” mentions Dr. Tedros. The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed the surging concern of global inequalities and the lack of unity among countries. We must continue to act as a whole, and not function as just a fraction. Vulnerable communities lacking the same opportunities and privileges as us Canadians live with these devastating impacts. 

Recently, Premier Doug Ford directly appealed to U.S. President Joe Biden, expressing his anger and frustration to help secure more COVID-19 vaccines. While this anger and frustration are notable, we are not the only ones in need. Canada must support global multilateral efforts to vaccinate individuals in low-income countries, who are higher at risk for contracting the virus. Countries that do not have resources or proper health infrastructure will continue to be threatened by COVID-19. A disease present globally is a disease present everywhere. COVID-19 will continue to pose a great threat to health, security, and the economy if we do not take collective action to end this pandemic.

Canada must stand in solidarity with other wealthy nations and show its support by investing in COVID-19 vaccines for those in developing countries. It is time that Canada responds to the global pandemic, with a global response. Let’s win this battle by acting together.

Shahithya Ravindran