Should the COVID-19 vaccine be an collaborated or an independent effort? Children's perspective
Updated: May 16, 2021
It has been a year since the start of Covid-19 pandemic. We can all agree COVID-19 flipped our world upside down. This Pandemic is regarded as one of the biggest challenge, which humans of this millennium have faced. So, should every country fight on its own or should we come together to work together and defeat the Coronavirus once and for all? Let us examine points for and against collaboration. The following article is debate conducted at Indian cultural forum in Germany among children from the age group above 11 years.
Every single country on this planet is affected due to Covid-19. Therefore, the need of the hour is to work together to achieve the goal we are all aiming for. A common goal that benefits every nation on this planet. The situation can be compared to group work at school. In a group everyone works on the common task assigned to them, some more, some less though. They split up the work, so that the team can finish their task faster and more efficiently. Compare this to a student who is working alone. To get the same result (to finish the task) he/she must put much more effort and time. This example shows us that teamwork requires less effort, resources, and time from every single team member, compared to working alone.
Independent work is always encouraged at work and is considered a virtue in modern times. If a country develops the COVID-19 vaccine it has multiple benefits. The country that invents vaccines or owns Intellectual property rights on it makes profits and helps in attaining economic stability soon. Owing to debt, it would be more beneficial if a country alone found the vaccine in order to make money out of it.
Nowadays, researchers and scientists have very little time and resources. Because It has become a matter of priority to understand the virus on one hand while simultaneously finding a cure for the virus. It is crucial that the researchers working to contain coronavirus work very efficiently keeping in mind the number of people loosing their lives to it. Therefore, working together is the better solution and can produce good outcome in less time.
It is no sin to think of profits on vaccines and the whole world is in a financial crisis. Profits can help a country to get back on its own feet and run their country more effectively with lesser or no debts. If poor countries have talented scientists who are able to find a cure for COVID-19, their revenue would also increase. Hence, it doesn’t matter if the country is an economically poor or a strong one. The revenue would be of great help to any country because it is needless to say that every country in this world is suffering economically because of the pandemic. If an economically poor country’s scientists found the medicine, it would reap more advantages for that country as it would enable it to make a lot of money by mass producing and selling the vaccines. However, rich countries are also – as mentioned above – are in debt, so the profits could also be highly beneficial to financially rich countries also.
Working as a team has other benefits . Let us now compare the Covid-research to a math problem. To find out the answer for a math problem there are probably several methods to choose from. If we consider finding a vaccine for coronavirus as a "problem” then all the methods the researchers use to learn more about the virus and create a vaccine must be similar or even same across the globe. Thus, a collaborated research will reduce the effort for researchers in data research and analysis, which has already been possessed or conducted by other countries instead of reinventing the wheel. Additionally, it will help create a collective information pool of the Coronavirus that includes all experiences, variations, data, new discoveries and known methods for vaccine creation from every country.
One of the major problems we faced during the initial stages of the Coronavirus outbreak was the lack of transparency from China in revealing the truth to the world. During the first outbreak in Wuhan, China has misled the world and is still hiding information related to the corona virus. They lied about the death toll of the virus and said it was only a seasonal flu, which was 20 times worse than the last one. This then resulted in the uncontrollable and rapid spread of the Virus throughout the world. Had China been more collaborative and transparent with their experience with Covid, our situation today would have been different. Nevertheless, it is still not too late to come together, putting our differences aside and working for a better future.
During this pandemic the economy is plummeting faster than ever. Governments are spending huge amounts of money from coffers to find a cure for Covid-19, so that we can return to our normal lives as fast as possible. However, a lot of countries have suffered so much financially due to the pandemic, they don’t have enough money to finance their individual research to find the cure for Covid-19. This is where a collaborative research comes into play. In an international-group research every country will contribute what they have depending on their financial prowess. This benefits all poor countries. Even though they lack infrastructure and the financial resources to research and develop an antidote on their own, their population will have access to the Covid-vaccine. This can be compared to the German Health system, in which every person pays a certain percentage of their income to a universal insurance. The universal insurance then funds all medical bills regardless of how much they paid in the first place.
Every country is affected by Corona Virus, the common goal to look for a cure. Therefore, it is more effective if each country works on their own to find the cure to COVID-19. Nonetheless, if a country has already collected some data and another country does the same thing, it is waste of effort and time because isolated and individual efforts in countries. Every country has its interests to look after, it can be political, ideological and economical. At the end of the day everything boils down to economics and money. Therefore it is natural choice that countries do not share their vaccine know-how and look after their own interests and create the vaccines independently.
Mutations have to be considered seriously in the process of finding a cure for a disease. The Corona virus would have mutated as it spread to separate countries because it is valid that each human being has a peerless body – complete with their own DNA, body weight et cetera. As a result, countries could find medicines for the virus independently – with the same framework although with discriminable variations – that plague their nations. Scientific and medical complications, like mutations of the virus, can be a real dilemma when organizing an international effort. To summarize, it would be more advantageous and ideal if one country alone developed the COVID-19 vaccine that is suits its requirement.
Research for the vaccine for COVID-19 is being pursued by governments all over the world on war footing since the pandemic has set in. However, the main question is whether the research should be a collaborative or independent effort? Though both options have their own advantages and disadvantages, it is of utmost importance for countries to take one of these decisions and follow the appropriate steps. Countries are suffering economically, rich and poor countries alike. Profits from the vaccine could get the country back on its own feet, but poor countries would not be able to have a chance to produce the vaccine because high production costs are not easily affordable for economically poor countries. Transparency between countries is required for collaborative, international efforts,. In drawing things to a close, research for the vaccine for COVID-19 could either be a collaborative or independent effort to stop the spread of Pandemic and save humanity.
Dharini Palanivetrivelan, 13 years old, Grade 9, ISF International Schule Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Rohan Ramkumar, age 15, 10th year, Gymnasium Riedberg , Frankfurt am Main, Germany.
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