Does a vaccine spell the end of the coronavirus pandemic? | DW Documentary

A vaccine against COVID-19 is considered the only realistic hope of overcoming the virus. Several vaccines have now been approved. But does that mean an end to the pandemic and a return to “normal life” are in sight?

A heated debate has broken out over whether we have enough vaccine and who will get it first: those who need it most urgently – or those who pay most? Many countries have long since reached lucrative deals with pharmaceutical companies to secure exclusive rights to millions of vaccine doses. Poorer states that cannot compete in the bidding are at risk of going empty-handed. “If this is not prevented, global health apartheid will become more entrenched, driving inequality to new heights. And the pandemic will still be with us,” warns Indian economist Jayati Ghosh.

The documentary takes us to some of the most important locations and centers of vaccine development and distribution – in Germany, the United States, Britain and India. Pharmaceutical developers worldwide have allowed the film team exclusive access to their research laboratories, where operations are normally kept strictly secret.

As we look at the countdown to vaccine development, we find a huge project at a crossroads: Will it prove possible not only to develop an effective vaccine against the new coronavirus but also to distribute it to the entire global population? Or will national egoisms ultimately torpedo the collective global effort?


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