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Booster Shots: The Abyss Between Health and Money

The FDA has authorized Pfizer’s vaccine booster shot on September 22nd 2021, specifically for people ages over 65 and in high risk (Weiland). While this lifted regulation results in a lower health risk for many patients, it contains a downside of accelerating the excessive amount of profit Pfizer derives from the transaction they already exploit. When juxtaposing both the negative and positive consequences of this new mandate, we are able to weigh our choices and scrutinize for ourselves what can be tolerated.


Benefits:

Emerging evidence shows that among jobs with intimate interactions with people, the efficacy of the vaccine significantly decreases over time (6 months). Such a situation requires the administration of an additional health supplement. The booster shot of the Pfizer vaccine has proven to contain the potency of vastly eliminating health risks. Once injected, they serve to substantially increase the immune response and protect the patients from the primary COVID viruses as well as highly contagious variants. Regardless of age or sex, there is no denying that the third shot will play a substantial role in maintaining the global hygiene.


Drawbacks:

The biggest detriment of this approval is the disproportionate amount of financial gains the primary biotech companies will acquire. Even in the current situation, as of July 2021, Pfizer and Moderna have sold over 90% of their vaccines to comparatively affluent countries, charging them as close to 24 times their production cost. The two companies have also refused to share research and development methods with the emerging countries that have the capabilities to manufacture vaccines (Oxfam International). When considering this certitude with the recent amendment allowing booster shots, we are able to discern how the aggravating situation of the pandemic continues to work in the favor of the gluttonous companies. The epitome of the capitalistic market has yet again manifested its self-interested nature in the form of valuing profit over the lives of the suffering patients.


A Settling Point:

Is there ever a perfect common ground between the greed and life of humanity? I envision that government intervention is a potential solution to the issue. Once regulations are implemented, they work to limit private profits and redistribute necessary financial support for the people and countries under scarcity. Foreseeable benefits also include the alleviation of state wealth disparities, a phenomenon that has manifested during the pandemic and prolifically aggravated as the capitalistic market prevailed. The issue, however, is that corporate constraints deprive economic incentives. If companies are not rewarded for their research, their motivation that stems from immense compensation could be hindered. While I understand both perspectives and the complexity of the current situation, we ultimately need to return to the certainty that life is invaluable. Once a life is ended, no amount of green paper can bring it back. Let us reconsider.


References:


Weiland, Noah, and Sharon Lafraniere. “F.D.A. Authorizes Pfizer Booster Shots for Older and AT-RISK AMERICANS.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 22 Sept. 2021, www.nytimes.com/2021/09/22/us/politics/pfizer-boosters-fda-authorize.html.


“Vaccine Monopolies Make Cost of Vaccinating the World against Covid at Least 5 Times More Expensive than It Could Be.” Oxfam International, 23 Sept. 2021, https://www.oxfam.org/en/press-releases/vaccine-monopolies-make-cost-vaccinating-world-against-covid-least-5-times-more.


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