« Barriers to building wealth: Nick Maggiulli on the racial wealth gap | Main | A blue wave: Ayana Elizabeth Johnson on oceans and their role in climate solutions »



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Jana N.

Ana Rutschman makes a timely and relevant argument in her article as she highlights the dire effects of vaccine nationalism. As COVID-19 continues to kill millions all over the world, the question of which countries will have the vaccine brings up even more questions about the ethics of distributing the vaccine.
I agree with Anna P.ś comment. Anna implies that it becomes the responsibility of the developed world to make sure lesser developed countries get the vaccine, not for the developed world to hoard vaccines for their own people. This is actually an excellent point, especially conjuring COVID numbers today. The WHO reported that COVID numbers have been dropping all over the globe except in the Middle East and South Africa. Thatś most likely because while millions of Americans have been vaccinated, developed economies like South Africa have only gotten a few hundred thousand vaccines.

Kara Oldroyd

I agree with Anna P. that vaccine nationalism shouldn't be so prevalent, especially not in a blessed country like America. Anna said she agrees with and supports Rutschman's comments on vaccine nationalism being unfair to other countries. Like Rutschman, Anna is saying that by taking away accessibility of the COVID vaccine from other countries, we aren't being the leaders we should be. I would add to her comments in saying that as a fairly financially-stable country (at least for a lot of us), and a country that offers more rights and privileges that a lot of other places do, we have a responsibility to help others in need.
Furthermore, by not helping other countries get the vaccine and even hindering them in that course, we are ultimately hurting ourselves because the pandemic would only be gone from here for a little while until someone from one of those less-fortunate countries that couldn't get vaccinated accidentally brings it back in.

Braxton Turnbow

As Anna P agreed with Rutschman's comment on how there should be a system in place so that developing countries will not be affected by other countries vaccine nationalism. However, I think as United States citizens I feel that because our country partakes and tries to embark in the vaccine nationalism, we should be very grateful in that aspect. I think Anna and Rutschman's overlook that and don't acknowledge how lucky we are to live In a country that has the capability to put their country first. Not only that, but I ask the question, is the world selfish? I feel the answer is yes! I feel that every country is worried about their needs, their protection, and their safety. Therefore, I don't blame countries to implement trying to pre-purchase a certain dosage of a vaccine to provide for their people. If anything I think if we were in that same position then we'd do the same thing. Continually, these developing countries, if they could do vaccine nationalism I'm pretty confident they'd partake in that act as well. Yes, it is very sad and something that is something that is hard to realize about this world. However, I feel that I'd want to ensure my safety first and I'd want the safety of my family to be certain before I was willing to give that up to someone else.

DJ Theobald

I feel like this is a tough issue to take a side on. Yes, Anna makes a great point on how everyone needs the vaccine and how certain countries shouldn't be able to get priority, but there is a much-overlooked side to this conversation. If a country is willing to pay millions, or billions, to get access to the vaccine, think of where that money is going. the money is going into the company making the vaccines, allowing for more vaccines to be made, more upgrades can be made to accelerate the creation of these vaccines. Another thing is that the people caring for and helping these third world countries aren't usually from third world countries. it is very hard to prioritize who gets what, and because of money some people get priority over others, but the money ends up going to a good place. do first-world countries get it, or do third-world countries get it? how about those who are most at risk, or front-line workers? it is a very tough decision, and we need to see a broader spectrum of points before we make a final decision.

Logan Davis

Anna argues that more developed countries will be able to get vaccines first just because they have more money. In other words, vaccines won't get to people in underdeveloped countries because they don't have the funds. I agree with Anna and that as a world we need to be better about getting the vaccine to everyone that needs it and not just our country. I don't like it that developed countries can buy rights to tons of vaccines and not care about anyone else. As a world, we need to help everyone so that as a world we can survive. Not just now but for the future as well.


Anna posted a great definition. Vaccine Nationalism is when a country calls dibs on a vaccine when their need might not be as great as another countries.
I agree with what Anna says about developed countries getting the vaccines first. In the article a main point is that a country like the US getting the vaccine before anyone else can hurt underdeveloped countries.


This article is about the Covid Vaccine and how other countries can distribute and save some for their countries. I agree with what author Ana Rutschman says that this is a problem that causes nationalism. In the article, Ana states that when the vaccines are now available, most powerful countries can purchase more than others and leave the other countries with basically the leftovers of the vaccines. This should not be allowed because you're saying that only the wealthiest countries can get as much vaccine as possible, but the poorest ones get barely anything that is devasting to read. I believe that this doesn't seem right everyone should be allowed to purchase the same amount at a time of vaccinations and that there should be a limit of how much can be bought at a time. Also, another thing that was shocking to read but not surprising is that the United States drug prices are high. This statement doesn't surprise me because the United States does not have universal health care, which would explain why medicine and vaccines would be so expensive here in the United States. However, another thing that was also very interesting was the deadweight loss in the article. The deadweight loss is basically when supply and demand do not balance fairly, and the product gets priced out. This is why I understand and agree with what Ana states in her article. If the wealthiest purchase too much, the medicine goes bad, they would have to throw it away, thus creating the problem that they bought more and should have bought less to balance the other countries that also needed the same medicine. Finally, this article was fascinating to read, and I enjoyed all the facts and points Ana described in her article.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

By signing up you agree to W. W. Norton’s
privacy policy and terms of use.

About They Say / I Blog

  • New readings posted monthly, on the same issues that are covered in “They Say / I Say” with Readings—and with a space where readers can comment, and join the conversation.

Follow us on Twitter to get updates about new posts and more! @NortonWrite

Become a Fan