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Can Vaccine Nationalism and Vaccine Diplomacy Coexist?

Can Vaccine Nationalism and Vaccine Diplomacy Coexist?

Online seminar co-hosted by the TransAsiaSTS network & Deakin Science and Society Network, with Professors Aihwa Ong (UC Berkeley) and Emma Kowal (Deakin University)

The global demand for Covid-19 vaccines has sparked a discourse that science nationalism is incompatible with “global health.” In a time of pandemic crisis, fears of national sequestration of biotech technologies are intensifying. I suggest, however, that the biosciences as state project and as global public good are complexly entangled and politically fraught for donor and recipient nations alike.

While pandemics are a global health threat, the technology, production, deployment and acceptance of vaccines are invariably a matter of politics. I will highlight the gradients between the owning/making and the giving; the trade-offs for low-income countries; and whether global health entities Covax & the Quad lessen or produce new segregations in health access.


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