Geopolitics of COVID The Unprecedented Challenge of Coronavirus Vaccine Distribution

The first COVID-19 vaccines are nearing approval. Wealthy countries have already secured the rights to billions of doses, while others are at risk of growing even more dependent on China or Russia.
A treatment center for coronavirus patients in a Moscow ice skating arena: Those controlling access to the vaccine will further entrench their power.

A treatment center for coronavirus patients in a Moscow ice skating arena: Those controlling access to the vaccine will further entrench their power.

Foto: Maxim Shemetov / REUTERS
The wrangling in Brazil highlights the politics of the monumental project now facing the world.
DER SPIEGEL 48/2020
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Titelillustration: SAMSON / DER SPIEGEL

SPIEGEL International
A vaccine delivery in Brazil: "One thing wrong about the Western countries, it’s all profit, profit, profit."

A vaccine delivery in Brazil: "One thing wrong about the Western countries, it’s all profit, profit, profit."

Foto: Nelson Almeida / AFP
Those countries that have sufficient resources and their own manufacturing capacities will be at an advantage.
A coronavirus testing center in India: "Most countries simply can’t afford these vaccines."

A coronavirus testing center in India: "Most countries simply can’t afford these vaccines."

Foto: Rafiq Maqbool / AP
There are already signs that the world is breaking up into vaccination blocs.
Access to the vaccine can be used not only as a reward for good behavior, but also as a means of repression.