Streaming of Webinar: Vijay Prashad on Global Vaccine Apartheid

Fighting Global Vaccine Apartheid: Featuring Vijay Prashad, contributor to Capitalism on a Ventilator: The Impact of COVID-19 in China & the U.S.



Thursday, May 6
8 pm ET/5 pm PT

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87% of COVID-19 vaccines have gone to the wealthiest countries, while low-income countries received just 0.2%. This vaccine apartheid will continue to cause hundreds of thousands of avoidable deaths of people across the world. A prime example of this capitalist-produced vaccine apartheid is in India, which has set world records for daily COVID infections in the past several weeks, despite the existence of billions of doses of vaccines across the world. India is one of the world’s top pharmaceutical producers, yet without key imports from the U.S., it cannot produce what is needed to vaccinate its 1.3 billion people. Meanwhile, over 220,000 people in India have died and the death rate continues to soar.

Vaccine inequality is perhaps most stark in occupied Palestine. Israel has fully vaccinated almost 60% of its population, giving it the world’s highest vaccination rate, yet the Palestinian Health Authority reported that less than 3% of Palestinians are immunized due to vaccine shortages.

The Biden Administration and other imperialist countries promise to share their vaccines. The US alone controls over quarter of the world’s short-term supply of vaccines. Yet the US and others continue a policy of vaccine nationalism, prioritizing the lives of those inside the imperialist countries over those in oppressed nations.

A few pharmaceutical monopolies limit the means for making more vaccines, while taking in billions of dollars of public subsidies. Property rights are in direct conflict with human rights to health care.

Join Vijay Prashad, an Indian historian, editor and journalist who writes on vaccine nationalism and the need for a people’s vaccine as we discuss how to fight vaccine apartheid. Vijay is the author of Red Star Over the Third World (LeftWord, 2017) and the Chief Editor of LeftWord Books. His latest book is Washington Bullets, with an introduction by Evo Morales Ayma.