Editorial: Pandemic protection

In Editorials, Opinion

With great power comes great responsibility. In accordance with superiority, the United States should have the greatest amount of responsibility toward the rest of the world, this includes protecting it from the H1N1 pandemic in which we are currently in the midst.

According to an ABC News report, the United States has already planned to donate 10 percent of its vaccine stockpile to developing countries.

This is, of course, the right thing to do, but as one of the most powerful countries in the world, we should also be contributing the most powerful amount of donations to poorer countries.

Last month, the World Health Organization said drug makers can only produce enough H1N1 vaccines each year for half the planet because it lacks factory capacity. This leaves more than 3 billion people around the world without the vaccine and open to infection.

Making sure poorer nations have ample supplies of the vaccine is a preventative measure richer countries need to take, considering the fact that we deal heavily in imports and a good deal of the products come from these lesser developed countries.

If they are more susceptible to the H1N1 flu, the products they manufacture and export to the U.S. are more susceptible as well.

Another thing to keep in mind when deciding which countries get what percentage of vaccine is the quality of the medical facilities in those countries.

Poorer communities usually have limited medical care and cannot handle an influx of pandemic victims if the flu were to hit the country hard.

Countries like the U.S. can, and have been able to, handle and care for patients that have contracted the virus.

Therefore, it is important that the poorer countries get more vaccines allocated to them because, really, their only defense is a good offense, and the only chance they’ll have of containing the flu is to not get it at all.

Of course, the possibility of a country not having at least one of its citizens infected with the H1N1 virus is slim to none; the chance of it happening is lessened with more people getting vaccinated.

When a pandemic hits, it’s important to be fair and balanced and not give an advantage to one group of people just because they have more money.

According to a New York Times article, most rich nations have contracts with drug makers to obtain enough vaccine to cover their entire populations.

It’s the low and middle income countries that will have a hard time vaccinating most of their population and will have to depend largely on donations of the vaccines.

The U.S., as well as other wealthy nations, should take advantage of the fact they have advanced medical systems and combine that with their share of the vaccine to battle the H1N1 pandemic.

The world is a large area, and, although the U.S. is powerful in many ways, it cannot ward off a pandemic if it’s only protecting those inside its nation’s walls.

If the rest of the world, which is mostly made up of developing countries, becomes infected with the H1N1 virus, the pandemic will become stronger and, by that time, may not be strong or powerful enough to stay safe.

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