Addressing COVID-19 vulnerabilities: How do we achieve global health security in an inequitable world.
The spread of the serve acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which causes COVID-19, [WHO. (2019). Naming the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and the virus that causes it. https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/technical-guidance/naming-the-coronavirus-disease-(covid-2019)-and-the-virus-that-causes-it] and is responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic is another in a long line of Coronavirus outbreak – and unlikely to be the last. More than a year into the pandemic, SARS-CoV-2 has exposed the dangerous hollowness of a global commitment to global health security. Global health security (GHS) has no uncontested definition, and despite ample pandemic warnings (HIV, H1N1, SARS, MERS-CoV, Ebola, Zika) the world, remains woefully unprepared for an adequate pandemic response; its lack of preparation the predicable result of inattention to equity and with it global health security. The first section of this paper lays out the particular challenges of COVID-19 for less well-resourced countries. The second part discusses the inequities being perpetuated and accentuated in the development and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. The third section discusses ways to address these global inequities and its related complexities. We conclude by restating some of the key priorities for achieving GHS.