The media has been awash with talk about ‘vaccine nationalism’. I think that this concept has been poorly explained and misconstrued.
I have no problem with the nation expressing pride at being at the forefront of vaccine research and delivering what seems like an efficient vaccine roll-out. This shows the strength of the NHS as an organisation and highlights how better test and trace would have been if it were NHS led in the first place.
However, there is a need for a wider understanding that no matter how fast or comprehensively we vaccinate our population, it will not be sufficient to control the pandemic. The very nature of a pandemic is that the disease has spread all over the world.
We are not an island in ‘splendid isolation’ and cannot take a myopic view on the extent of the problem. Covid is fast acquiring mutations all over the word and only if we can vaccinate at a global level and at pace, will we achieve control. Failing this, we will soon find resistant strains on our doorsteps, outdoing our national efforts at vaccination.
There is a need for leadership at a global level so as to get other nations on board, including those we would not ordinarily partner. This is not a time for politicising matters. This is an opportunity for our nation to lead, and it should be taken.
Dr Milan Dagli is a GP in Harrow