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Opinion: COVID-19 vaccine should be distributed fairly
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Free COVID-19 testing at Good News Clinics Tuesday, April 28, 2020. - photo by Scott Rogers

To fight COVID-19 inequities, we need a global vaccine.  

The novel coronavirus has laid bare the inequities that exist in our country and our world. As a Hall County resident, I’ve seen how the coronavirus has impacted the most vulnerable.  

Where you live shouldn’t determine whether you live. That’s why the U.S. must fund proven global health programs like Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, that are focused on developing and fairly deploying eventual COVID-19 vaccines, diagnostics and treatments to those who need it most, regardless of where they live.  

While we don’t know who will develop the first effective vaccine, we do know that when a vaccine is found, it’s all but certain that there won’t be enough supply to protect everyone in the country, let alone the world. Therefore, Congressman Doug Collins must help ensure that the most vulnerable people have priority access to the vaccine regardless of whether they live in Gainesville or Nairobi.  

If a vaccine is distributed exclusively to high-income countries first, the world will only avoid 33% of COVID-19 related deaths. But, if a vaccine is distributed to every country on the globe proportionally to those key populations, the world could avoid 61% of COVID-19 related deaths. By supporting $20 billion in global COVID-19 response funding, Congressman Collins can help champion a global vaccine and defeat this global pandemic everywhere.  

William Baringer  

Gainesville

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