Former WHO board member warns world against coronavirus 'vaccine nationalism'

A coronavirus vaccine will result in “significant” calls to supply locals first, a form of “vaccine nationalism” that will leave all worse off, the chair of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations has warned. Jane Halton, who is also a former head of Australia’s health and finance departments, issued the warning at the National Press Club on Monday. “And the urge for domestic priority, I think, will be very significant.” After a country has produced a vaccine and served its “vulnerable citizens” it will need to determine “what share of that is going to vulnerable people around the world at the same time”, Halton said. As soon as there is a vaccine, I fear that we … may not be quite all in this together as we have been.” Halton, also a commissioner in Australia’s national Covid-19 Coordination Commission, warned against complacency now Australia has begun to ease restrictions. Halton also foreshadowed a greater role for the commission in planning Australia’s economic recovery after the immediate challenges of ensuring enough personal protective equipment had been met.