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Issue 531 of New Internationalist

Reader-owned global journalism

May-June 2021

Vaccine equality

Who gets it? Covid-19 vaccines are the world’s great hope but not everyone has the same access to jabs. Vaccine nationalism, corporate power and wealth inequality are a few of the things standing in the way. This Big Story makes the internationalist case for fair, global access to vaccination.


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Included in this issue

: Government officials pray over a storage box containing Covid-19 vaccines before they leave for various vaccination centres in Mumbai, India, in January this year. India is one of the countries that is calling for patents on Covid-19 vaccines to be waived during the pandemic. DHIRAJ SINGH/BLOOMBERG/GETTY

Vaccine equality: who gets it?

Heidi Chow on how to roll out Covid-19 vaccines for all, equitably and at scale.

The nuts and bolts

Pay attention. Thomas Abraham gives a quick lesson on how the Covid-19 vaccines work.

Dreams of magic bullets

Richard Swift warns against vaccine fantasy and kneejerk technophilia.
French biochemist Louise Pasteur in his laboratory, where he developed pioneering vaccines against the chicken cholera and rabies using ‘attenuated’ or weakened bacteria. GL Archive/Alamy

A history of vaccines

It’s been a long – and, at times, disgusting – story. Swagata Yadavar begins in 1000 CE.
Making a point: Bill Gates addresses the media after his address to the World Health Assembly at the UN in Geneva. Reuters/Alamy

The Gates factor

Nick Dowson investigates the oversized influence of Bill Gates on the global response to the pandemic 
Yewande Oyetade, a medical laboratory technician in Lagos, Nigeria, collects samples for  Covid-19 testing at the Agege Primary Health Centre.  ANDREW ESIEBO/PANOS

Scientific internationalism

It is thanks to scientists collaborating across borders that vaccines against Covid-19 have been developed so fast, argues ...
A local art group, art360, painted this mural dedicated to the fight against the virus in the settlement of Kibera, Nairobi, Kenya. GORDWIN ODHIAMBO/AFP/GETTY

A silver lining

Immunization expert Christopher Morgan is optimistic that the great push for Covid-19 vaccines will produce other global health...
Rocío de la Cruz, with a Tzotzil poem painted on the wall of the cultural research centre where she works.CHANGIZ M VARZI

Cresting the wave

In Mexico, a new generation of young indigenous women are using art to fight racism and celebrate their native identity....
Backed by powerful advertising campaigns, KFC now has 22 outlets in Kenya, paving the way for other chains - Subway, Domino’s Pizza, Cold Stone Creamery - that are expanding into East Africa. Credit: Brian Inganga

When KFC came to Kenya

As Big Food spreads throughout the Global South using the tobacco playbook, Kabugi Mbae investigates the rise in obesity – and ...
An Afghan refugee shows scars on his back, which he says were caused by the violent force used by Croatian border police to deter him from making a crossing from Bosnia. Credit: Michele Amoruso

Beaten back

The vicious game of hounding asylum-seekers in Europe continues in defiance of international law, Katie Dancey-Downs reports.
Colour-co-ordinated laundry hanging out to dry in the background, children play in the parking lot of Cissie Gool House, an unused government hospital in the Woodstock neighbourhood, occupied by 700 evictees from the area since 2017.LERATO MADUN

Fighting dispossession

Citizens’ groups are resisting gentrification, evictions and housing inequality in urban South Africa in a variety of creative...
Fighting on all fronts. Samela, a 23-year-old activist from the Association of the Satere-Mawe Indigenous Women in Manaus, Amazonas in Brazil, co-ordinates the production of protective face masks.RAPHAEL ALVES/IMF/CREATIVE COMMONS

Let the people protect the forests

Want to restore and protect the world's forests? Then uphold the rights of the people who live in them, says Danny Chivers.

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