Fighting the Medical Monopoly

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Fighting the Medical Monopoly:
Mobilizing for ZERO-COVID and Decommodified Healthcare

Salimah Valiani

With the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, ‘vaccine nationalism’ is only slightly more rife than the calls against it. The focus on ‘vaccine nationalism’ by critical thinkers and activists misses some key lessons of the pandemic elaborated in my October 2020 article, “Access to medical supplies and devices – the lesser known story of COVID-19 and medical monopoly.” This piece summarises my October 2020 piece and links it to new developments, most importantly, the need to organize for a ZERO-COVID approach to ending the pandemic.

As with N95 masks and ventilators, the underproduction of vaccines is at the root... of so-called vaccine nationalism, and both are systemic to monopoly capital.

In the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, news of medical technology shortages surfaced: from N95 respirators to protect healthcare workers from contracting and spreading the novel coronavirus, to COVID-19 testing materials, to ventilators for infected patients unable to breathe.

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