Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1158/33415

From The Socialist newspaper, 1 December 2021

Covid-19: New variant emerges but same old capitalist disease

Novel coronavirus Covid-19, photo NIH/CC

Novel coronavirus Covid-19, photo NIH/CC   (Click to enlarge)

Jon Dale, Unite Nottinghamshire Health branch secretary (personal capacity)

New Covid-19 variants are inevitable but the threat to world health comes from profit-driven capitalism.

Early reports indicate the Omicron variant is more infectious than Delta. It is not yet known whether Omicron infection is more severe, or whether vaccination is as protective, but action can't wait to find out.

More infectious variants are likely where Covid is spreading quickly because most people aren't immune. The longer the delay for people in poorer countries to be vaccinated, the more likely resistant and more infectious variants will emerge, quickly spreading round the world.

Rich countries are sitting on almost one billion unused doses, while some poorer countries have not yet received vaccines they have paid for.

Shareholders in 'Big Pharma' are banking huge profits from these life-saving vaccines, developed at unprecedented speed with massive subsidies from public funds.

The World Trade Organisation's 1994 'Trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights agreement' (TRIPS) lets big business keep control over knowledge that should benefit everyone on the planet.

Albert Bourla, Pfizer's CEO, described the call to share vaccine recipes as 'dangerous nonsense'. EU and UK governments have blocked a temporary TRIPS suspension during the pandemic.

Pfizer expects to sell $33 billion of its vaccine this year, at a profit rate in 'the high 20 percent range'. Pfizer and BioNTech have delivered less than 1% of their total vaccine supplies to low-income countries. Moderna has delivered just 0.2%. These three companies received over $8 billion from taxpayers. They're making over $93 million profit every day.

The pharmaceutical industry must be taken out of profiteers' hands and democratically planned as a global public service. Scientists, engineers and health workers could then be rapidly mobilised to ensure vaccine production and delivery is speeded up where it is desperately needed.

Johnson protects big business

Boris Johnson announced masks will become mandatory again in shops and on public transport - a necessary public health measure. But, as throughout this pandemic, employers have been let off the hook. Responsibility to stop the virus spreading is left with workers themselves.

Trade union health and safety committees should demand all workplaces, schools, hospitals and public venues are adequately ventilated, with carbon dioxide monitoring. Air filtration units can remove viral particles and should be installed. 'FFP2' masks, protecting the wearer as well as cutting the risk to others, should be issued.

Employers and councils must pay. If companies claim they can't afford it, open their financial books to see why. Nationalise the big companies, subsidise small businesses and reverse council cuts.

Chronically low vaccination rates

Omicron was found first in Southern Africa. 11% have been fully vaccinated in Mozambique and Namibia, 20% in Botswana, and 24% in South Africa. In Malawi it's only 3%, Uganda 1.94%, Yemen 1.16%, DR of Congo 0.06% and Burundi 0.00%.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • We must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 1 December 2021:


News

NHS Critical

Covid-19: New variant emerges but same old capitalist disease

27 dead in channel migrant tragedy

Bulb bailed out, nationalise energy to solve price crisis

Khan threatens further London transport cuts

Kickstart scheme 'insufficient and flawed'

Tories strengthen repressive laws


COP26

After COP26: where next for the climate movement?


International

Argentine elections see deepening polarisation


Wales

Wales: The Labour-Plaid Cymru agreement - jam tomorrow, maybe


Rural life

Behind the rural idyll - the problems of everyday life


Workplace news

NHS workers - vote yes for action to win a decent pay rise

Staff and students unite against university bosses' attacks

UCU higher education disputes

Education unions lead campaign against Leicester academisation

RMT strikes against abolition of night tube train operators

South Yorkshire Stagecoach drivers strike against measly 1% pay offer

Nottingham and Mansfield trade unions rally against cuts and for better pay

Oaks Park school strike ends following forced concessions


Campaigns

East London mass non-payment wins housing victory

Marching to stop violence against women

Housing campaigners protest CEO champagners

Building a political alternative to Tory and Labour cuts

Stop the cuts to Uni arts funding

Plymouth: Hundreds attend vigil for Bobbi-Anne McLeod

Socialism 2021: How we reached our fighting fund appeal target

End fuel poverty


Readers' opinion

TV review: Valley of the Tears


 

Home   |   The Socialist 1 December 2021   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Covid:

triangleLow pay, stress and Covid drive: NHS staff crisis

triangleSouthampton student vote for online exams must be accepted

triangleCovid, stress and cutbacks fuel school staff shortages

triangleShameless Johnson partied through lockdown

triangleNHS Covid staff crisis

Capitalist:

triangleThe legacy of the collapse of Stalinism

triangleWorkers' politics needed to exploit Tory scandal and splits

triangleAfter COP26: where next for the climate movement?

triangleUSA: Right-wing vigilante Rittenhouse acquitted - capitalist courts will not defend the working class!

Health:

triangleFree prescriptions? Maybe when you're older

triangleBarts health workers to strike for a pay rise

triangleFighting union leadership needed to win NHS pay rise

Vaccine:

triangleTV review: Vaccine Wars: The Truth About Pfizer

triangleTories responsible for NHS staff shortages

Pfizer:

triangleCovid vaccines only first step - fight job losses, austerity and 'virus' of capitalism

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

13/1/22

Socialist Party

Pamphlet: What the Socialist Party stands for

12/1/22

Super-rich

Super-rich get richer, while we can't make ends meet. Join the fightback!

12/1/22

NHS

Low pay, stress and Covid drive: NHS staff crisis

12/1/22

Education

Covid, stress and cutbacks fuel school staff shortages

12/1/22

Black Lives Matter

Blow to establishment as jury backs Colston Four

12/1/22

Energy

Energy price crisis: nationalise energy giants to save us from 600 hit

12/1/22

Energy

Energy bosses: 'Jump, cuddle and eat porridge while we raise prices'

12/1/22

Tories

Tories concede under cladding pressure but don't go far enough

12/1/22

Lockdown

Shameless Johnson partied through lockdown

6/1/22

Socialist

Tories' cost of living squeeze - Build workers' fightback

6/1/22

Schools

Union action needed for Covid safety

6/1/22

NHS

NHS Covid staff crisis

6/1/22

Tony Blair

Blair knighted for services to the rich and powerful

6/1/22

Covid

Tory test shortage failure

6/1/22

Fares

More fares misery for passengers - renationalise the railways

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: [email protected]

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 077 7221 5281

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 078 0983 9793

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


January 2022

2021

2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999