The Reader: Rich countries have a duty to help poorer ones

·2-min read
Traditional leaders wait their turn to receive Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines at the Ridge Hospital in Accra, Ghana (AFP via Getty Images)
Traditional leaders wait their turn to receive Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines at the Ridge Hospital in Accra, Ghana (AFP via Getty Images)

Industrialised countries, such as Britain, which have emitted most of the CO2 now warming the planet have a moral responsibility to help poorer countries — which have emitted far less — to adapt to sustainable energy. But as greenhouse gases don’t respect borders, it’s also in Britain’s best interests to do so.

Similarly, Covid-19 is no border-respecter so when a virus is widely circulating in a population and causing many infections, the likelihood of the virus mutating and spreading increases. Thus, as the WHO warns, we need to do everything possible to stop the spread of the virus in order to prevent mutations that may reduce the efficacy of existing vaccines.

Besides, many people in poor countries helped test the vaccines that now keep us safe. As the Standard’s editorial comment advised this week: “Boosters are vital — but so is jabbing the world.”

David Murray

Dear David

It’s imperative that Britain focuses its energy on supplying jabs to the rest of the world. Not to do so would be morally wrong and short-sighted — no one is safe from Covid until we are all safe.

We need to ramp-up production so this pledge can be made real, ensure distribution lines are in place and tackle hesitancy. The urgency and enormity of the task are two reasons why the Standard is running the Vaccine for the World project, aimed at building a global approach to vaccination.

Emma Loffhagen, comment writer

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