Pfizer approval — Reaction

Science has come to the rescue, and we can safely say that this WILL end. That’s a win for humankind, and it should commit us now stronger than ever to follow public health guidelines and keep each other safe until this is defeated.

The Pfizer vaccine is far from optimal, what with storage concerns and complications due to having to roughly replicate the temperature of the South Pole.

This vaccine could protect over 1 billion people in the next year or so, and the UK has approved 40 million doses of this 95% effective vaccine. For the first time in a long time, we can all indulge in a little collective optimism without being delusional; the hope is real, the science is real, the vaccine is real.

This vaccine must make good on the promise to our most vulnerable: we must find a way to get care home residents and over 70s this vaccine ASAP. Alongside that, the top priority is of course healthcare workers, care workers, NHS staff, key workers.

A broad public health campaign hiring well known spokespeople and every expert and political leader must be brought in; these things can only happen with public consent, and the lesson of times past is that far less people take the vaccine in the end if it is made mandatory.

People have control over what they put in their bodies; and we need to make sure the overwhelming supermajority of people know that they need this in their bodies, and it will go a long way to saving humanity from this highly contagious, killer of a disease.

Censorship and mandates give oxygen to the anti-vax movement, transparency and clear info disarm and kill off that same corrosive anti-truth operation, and will get far more people who are currently sceptical willing to take the vaccine.

This isn’t about convincing the very fringe of people who are committed to their delusions; we need to get on side the normal, sensible people, who have reservations or concerns.

Today we all walk with an extra spring in our step. But let us remember that big pharmaceutical companies have no limitless right to profit from these public goods; they should be distributed worldwide, especially to poorer countries and the global south, free of charge.

Such an effort will require international cooperation on regulatory efforts to commandeer this product away from private corporations, for the good of the world, until such a time as the pandemic in under control, when Pfizer and AstraZeneca can do as they please.

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Toby Lipatti-Mesme

Insightful and innovative UK journalism and commentary, from Toby Lipatti-Mesme.