To combat COVID-19 globally, the fight begins here at home

Seeing that the world becomes adequately inoculated against the coronavirus is a huge imperative. If we don't, new variants will take over.

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Columnists

September 24, 2021 - 4:35 PM

President Joe Biden convenes a virtual COVID-19 Summit on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, on Wednesday, September 22. Biden urged leaders at summit to make sure 70 percent of their populations are covered by vaccines by next September. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images/TNS)

The battle to subdue COVID-19 won’t be won until the whole world is vaccinated.

So President Joe Biden’s virtual COVID-19 summit at the United Nations on Wednesday was an important step toward mobilizing wealthy nations to share far more doses and technology. It also laid bare the global divisions over fighting the pandemic, which aren’t just between the rich and the poor.

Demonstrators march to the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority offices in Pretoria demanding that vaccines from Russia and China be supplied to South Africans amid a third coronavirus wave. (Phill Magakoe/AFP via Getty Images/TNS)

Seventy-nine percent of the shots in arms worldwide have been administered in high- and upper-middle-income countries and only 0.5 % in low-income countries. Less than 4% of Africa’s population is fully vaccinated, compared with 54% of Americans (a number that is high by comparison but low in terms of where the United States should be).

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