To the Editor:
Missouri is clearly struggling with vaccine distribution even as bad weather caused the cancellation of some distribution events. As frustrated as we are, we all need to remember these awful feelings of uncertainty, so we can empathize with vulnerable low-income countries dealing with poor access to vaccines in even the best of times. Our safety depends on their access to vaccines as well.
Many wealthy countries, including the U.S., ordered two to three times as many vaccines as required for their populations. Vaccine hoarding creates gross inequities and conditions for dangerous mutations. Now is the time to invest in effective programs well-placed to provide COVID-19 resources to low-income countries.
Congresswoman Ann Wagner, Sen. Roy Blunt, and Sen. Josh Hawley should urge congressional leadership to fight the pandemic worldwide by providing $4 billion to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria as well as fully funding the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator with $4 billion. We need to join the global COVID-19 response to help others and protect ourselves.
Cynthia Changyit Levin