ISSN 2330-717X

Is The Vaccine A Panacea? – OpEd

By

The COVID-19 pandemic has posed serious problems for the global health and the global economy. Specifically, for the healthcare systems it is crucial that Medicine be ready to cure the Coronavirus patients with effective therapies. It is equally important to minimize the risk of getting infected with the Coronavirus which can be achieved once a relevant vaccine is developed and distributed widely.

Practically, the World Health Organization (WHO) has recognized that universal vaccination is a powerful tool to hinder the widespread of the Coronavirus (https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/covid-19-vaccines?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIgvbQuJb16wIVlM13Ch0iGQWpEAAYASAAEgJ3aPD_BwE).

Both economists and politicians are also hopeful of the universal vaccination opportunity since the economic crisis has developed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and is not a ‘typical’ economic crisis which is resulted by the economic causes. This economic crisis stems from the COVID-19 outbreak worldwide. As reducing contacts among the community members, and in the best case, maintaining distance is the mechanism to hamper its spread, many businesses have had to suspend their operations.

Accordingly, this ‘atypical’ economic crisis may be referred to as the Coronomic crisis and it will come to a real end when the field of Medicine defeats the Coronavirus. In other words, today the economy is the hostage of Medicine (https://www.eurasiareview.com/29032020-coronomic-crisis-when-the-economy-is-a-hostage-to-medicine-oped/).

Therefore, developing the anti-Coronavirus vaccine is of utmost importance both for the modern Medicine and the economic crisis. The world’s leading research medical centers are working on developing anti-COVID-19 vaccines. Developing a new vaccine is quite cumbersome and its accelerated development is potentially dangerous and can cause serious damage to human health (https://www.bmj.com/content/370/bmj.m3209).

Encouraging statements about the anti-COVID-19 vaccine in progress (https://www.nih.gov/news-events/nih-research-matters/experimental-coronavirus-vaccine-safe-produces-immune-response), as well as serious warnings about its side effects (https://www.wired.com/story/covid-19-vaccines-with-minor-side-effects-could-still-be-pretty-bad/), which should be excluded to the highest possible extent, should be highlighted. The biggest concern was expressed regarding the anti-Coronavirus vaccine that was hastily created by Russia (https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/11/health/russia-covid-19-vaccine-safety.html).

All in all, it is a dominant opinion that high vaccination coverage is ‘omnipotent’ and will defeat the COVID-19 pandemic and end the Coronomic crisis as well. In any event, numerous health professionals and politicians mention it in their argue that creation of the anti-COVID-19 vaccine will certainly be followed by mass vaccination as if there are no other alternatives.

In other words, without any critical evaluation it is assumed that upon producing the anti-Coronavirus vaccine, its universal application is guaranteed. In reality, the question must be answered as whether the universal vaccination will be carried out automatically without any delay.

In other words, we should ask if the vaccine is a panacea? Such questions stem from to the circumstance that at the outset of the COVID-19 outbreak, information that this virus was artificially created to reduce the number of the world population, has been widely spread.

More specifically, the number of the world population will be reduced not so much by the Coronavirus pandemic, but as a result of the universal vaccination against this virus. This approach is based on so called Theory of Golden Billion (https://utopiaeducators.com/posts/the-golden-billion-theory/) which was developed for Russia and the East European countries and according to which it is in the interest of the Western Countries to reduce the number of the world population as the current resources in the world are not enough for more than 7 billion people in the world and it is necessary to reduce the world population to 1 billion.

This can be achieved not through wars but by causing a pandemic and afterwards providing for the universal application of the vaccine, which would be developed against the pandemic, in the developing countries and later this will result in increased mortality among the people vaccinated.

However, the Theory of Golden Billion clearly can be ascribed to the conspiracy theories (https://en.myvadesigns.com/3303356-what-is-the-quotgolden-billionquot). Unfortunately, the statements made by the world-famous billionaire Bill Gates were used to boost the popularity of this theory with some extent. Namely, he predicted the threat of a pandemic back in 2015 (https://www.mercurynews.com/2020/03/25/coronavirus-bill-gates-predicted-pandemic-in-2015/) and later publicly expressed his negative attitude towards the significant role poor African countries play in increasing the world population (https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2018/09/africas-rapid-population-growth-puts-poverty-progress-at-risk-says-gates/).

It also needs to be noted that Bill Gates made a substantial investment in the vaccine development and expressed his readiness to spend 150 mln dollars in order to make the anti-Coronavirus vaccine available for the poor population around the globe (https://www.vox.com/recode/2020/8/8/21359227/bill-gates-foundation-coronavirus-vaccine-serum-astrazeneca-novavax), even though his thinks that the first group of anti-COVID-19 vaccines “will not be ideal” (https://observer.com/2020/08/bill-gates-warn-covid19-vaccine-timeline-efficacy-pandemic/).

It is not surprising that such statements increase the popularity of Theory of Golden Billion to some extent, that contributed to the skepticism developed among some part of the community towards a potential anti-Coronavirus vaccine.

This situation raises a logical question as to how realistic it is that even if an eventual COVID-19 vaccine turns out to be the best vaccine, it will be possible to achieve the universal vaccination.

The easiest way to achieve the universal vaccination is applying the principle of mandatory, some experience of which the world has, and the application of which is under consideration for COVID-19 (https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/2020/08/how-coronavirus-covid-vaccine-mandate-would-actually-work-cvd/).

Enforcements of the mandatory principle will be relatively easy for instance, in case of air transportation as passengers will be obliged to submit a relevant certificate confirming that its holder has been vaccinated against COVID-19. Yet, the mandatory vaccination might not be easily achievable in a democracy. At present, Australia is a clear example of this situation (https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-53840086).

Taking into account the above issues, and in parallel to mandatory vaccination, it is expedient to find ways for carrying out mass vaccination on a voluntary basis. Certainly, voluntary mass vaccination is related to large scale educational campaigns for the population which take time and expenses.

Thus, it should be considered a very important and an effective way to persuade the population that Bill Gates and its associates do not have the above mentioned ‘evil’ intentions and the Theory of Golden Billion is far from the reality and is created just to exacerbate the anti-Western sentiments. This is not an easy objective to achieve, given that there have not been any serious steps taken yet in this regard.

Besides, it will take some time and efforts to persuade the skeptical portion of the population that the Theory of Golden Billion is a sheer propaganda that aims to reinforce the anti-Western sentiments.

Considering the above mentioned, there is a relatively high probability that creation of an effective anti-Coronavirus vaccine may not be sufficient to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant Coronomic crisis.

Under these conditions, people will have to co-exist with the Coronavirus for some more time and gradually open businesses by observing the imposed restrictions to prevent further transmission of this virus.

Even in the above scenario it may not be possible to overcome the Coronomic crisis within the short period of time after the anti-COVID-19 vaccine is produced. In the situation of co-existing with the Coronavirus, it is impossible to reopen the economy in full. This shows that the optimistic scenario of overcoming the Coronomic crisis and the economic growth may not be realistic since a V-shaped economic recovery (https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/v-shaped-recovery-marches-on-by-jim-o-neill-2020-09?utm_source=Project+Syndicate+Newsletter&utm_campaign=d894e10a78-sunday_newsletter_13_09_2020&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_73bad5b7d8-d894e10a78-93567601&mc_cid=d894e10a78&mc_eid=e9fb6cbcc0) is based on the above referred assumption that the universal and mass vaccination will be carried out relatively fast.

Under these conditions strengthening the economic security of any country is of utmost importance, which should be a top concern for the national Governments. Among the economic safety issues the greatest attention should be paid to food security which will certainly become the greatest priority in case of prolonged Coronomic crisis.

Finally, in order to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic and the Coronomic crisis, it is indispensable that not only a safe and highly effective vaccine be developed, but also to persuade the population at large of its safety. This will be a precondition to overcome the Coronomic crisis entirely.

Dr. Vladimer Papava

Dr. Vladimer Papava*

Dr. Vladimer Papava is a former Minister of Economy of the Republic of Georgia and the author of Necroeconomics, a study of post-Communist economic problems. Dr. Vladimer Papava is a Professor of Economics of the Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University, Academician of the Georgian National Academy of Sciences, and a former Rector of the Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University.