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The Manchester Briefing on COVID-19 issue 29: ‘Vaccinationalism’ under the spotlight

The hot topic of vaccine supply and the implications of local, national and global ‘vaccinationalism’ come under the spotlight in the latest issue of The Manchester Briefing.

The fortnightly briefing, produced by Alliance MBS and the Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute, brings together international lessons for local and national government recovery and renewal.

The latest issue looks at how the insufficient global supply of COVID-19 vaccines echoes the challenges faced at the beginning of the pandemic when there was insufficient PPE. It says variation across regions and countries in the availability of vaccine brings the risk of accentuating long-term health inequalities and could entrench wealth inequalities.

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It says this could lead to challenging questions for officials and elected leaders on the prioritisation of who receives the vaccine. For example, is it right to vaccinate a low-risk person in country A that has vaccine rather than a high-risk, front line health worker in Country B that does not have sufficient vaccine?

The briefing reports how the UN has already noted that a ‘me first’ approach could prolong the pandemic as well as cause further economic and human suffering. However the briefing also discusses how changes to vaccination supply plans or redirecting vaccine stock to other regions and countries may heighten public discomfort and disturbance.

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Other topics discussed in this week’s briefing include:

  • how to remember and memorialise those who have died due to COVID-19
  • ways to promote and support local tourism post-pandemic
  • measures to reduce food waste in the light of changing habits
  • how whistleblowing apps can allow the public to report COVID-19 breaches
  • how to publicly respond to vocal vaccine deniers

There is also a special look at managing COVID-19 in prisons, with discussion about how national strategies to suppress COVID-19 should focus on reducing outbreaks within prisons, and how coordinating evidence-based approaches to managing outbreaks can address the spread of the virus in potentially vulnerable people inside prisons and in the wider community.

The briefing has been running ever since the pandemic began a year ago. It is aimed at those who plan and implement recovery from COVID-19, including government emergency planners and resilience officers. The research is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), as part of UK Research and Innovation’s rapid response to the pandemic.

Download this week's Manchester Briefing on COVID-19 (issue 29)

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