Swee Kheng Khor
Swee Kheng Khor
Dr Swee Kheng Khor is a Malaysian physician specialising in health policies and global health, with fellowships in three international think tanks.

The government’s bungling efforts so far have led to a growing perception that it is hypocritical, unsympathetic and disconnected from the reality on the ground. A coherent strategy is needed combining sensible health, social and political responses.

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Wealthy nations and big pharma must realise that their inaction on vaccine equity will cost lives, but action will cost them almost nothing. If they continue to hoard vaccines, they are undermining the fundamental principles of their rules-based world view.

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If more countries follow China in tying entry to specific vaccines, the existing vaccine ‘spheres of influence’ could easily coalesce into opposing blocs. To avert this outcome, the world must adopt universal vaccine approval and efficacy standards.

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With no end in sight until a Covid-19 vaccine is developed, here are three ways governments can restart their economies and societies as quickly and safely as possible.

This current outbreak will burn itself out eventually, but it won’t be the last one our world has to face. More science and truth is needed if we want to triumph quicker next time, says Dr Swee Kheng Khor.