The Other Half of the World

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I’m writing in regards to vaccine controversy and the layers of hope and fear around the development of a COVID-19 vaccine. As a mother of children who have attended “crunchier” more alternative schools I’ve engaged in ample vaccine-conversation. I understand and empathize with the concerns of folks who mistrust the safety of vaccines, even though ultimately we decided to vaccinate our kids.

The fear, anger, and mistrust around the medical industry seems aggravated by this pandemic. While I agree with the need for accountability, transparency, and responsibility on the part of big pharma, politicians, and the medical industry, I think that those of us who enjoy the privilege of access to medication and medical treatment might consider including the plight of those across the globe who potentially won’t have access or opportunity to benefit from a COVID-19 vaccination. The monopolies, corruption, and greed that folks seem concerned threaten their individual freedom also result in unnecessary deaths of millions because countries don’t have the financial means to access effective but prohibitively priced treatment.

The number of years it took for HIV treatment to become available to those who needed it is a crime against humanity, as is the number of children and babies who still die of tuberculosis, which is preventable and treatable.

So yes, with our privilege I think it’s important to be informed consumers and exercise empowerment and assertiveness around our health care, but we’d also do well to consider how we might use our voices and our power to speak for our brothers and sisters around the globe who face an even more severe layer of the human rights issue about which you might be up in arms. Consider looking into I-MAK.org or Access Health International to support advocacy for more ethical practices.

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