While a vaccine for the new coronavirus will take a long time to develop, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar says even with a vaccine they cannot be affordable for all Americans,media reported. At a congressional hearing Wednesday, Azar, a former pharmaceutical executive and drug lobbyist, said in conversation sally that while he personally wanted people to pay, he would not make such a commitment.
“We can’t control that price because we need private investment. “
It is clear that during an outbreak of infectious diseases, this attitude not only makes it more difficult for the poor to access protective drugs, but also puts everyone at risk.
When everyone in the community is vaccinated, the vaccine works best, and when enough people are vaccinated against the disease, population immunity begins to work. When the proportion of people vaccinated is below a certain level, people who are not vaccinated are more likely to be exposed to people with the disease, which causes it to continue to spread and lead to more outbreaks. That’s what’s seen after new Measles vaccination rates fell in 2019: hundreds of people are infected with the preventable disease.
Measles is much more contagious than the new coronavirus, but the principle is the same. There is no new coronavirus vaccine, not for at least a year to 18 months. But when it breaks out, widespread vaccination is clearly the best way to protect everyone, poor and rich.
Vaccines are just one example of how costly health care could make it harder for the United States to control the spread of new coronaviruses. People without insurance or without good insurance may be reluctant to seek treatment for diseases they suspect may be new coronary pneumonia because they are worried about the price tag for testing. Osmel Martinez Azcue, for example, recently returned from a trip to China to get the flu, so he went to Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami. He told the media that he would n’go to the hospital because of the flu, but he didn’t want his family and community at risk if he had COVID-19. It turned out that he was not infected with the virus, but he was still charged thousands of dollars for testing and hospital care. There are thousands of people in the United States who may have to choose between taking precautions to protect the community and avoid huge bills if they think they may be infected with the virus.
In addition, companies that offer only limited sick days put a wider group of people at risk, not just their employees. Those who work in these positions may not have the money to take time off if they are ill.
Fragile communities are always disproportionately affected by disease, and they cannot take the same precautions as those with more money and flexibility. This makes it easier for the virus to continue to spread, and it affects everyone — even those who can withstand a certain degree of protection. When it comes to infectious diseases, health is no longer an individual, but a collective.