I read with interest Ezekiel J. Emanuel and Govind Persad’s op-ed on sharing unused vaccines with disadvantaged countries (“US should share vaccines it’s not using with the world,” Opinion, March 30). This cause resonates with me because of my concern for the most vulnerable to COVID-19. As a 17-year-old student in good health, I am not concerned about falling ill. Studies indicate that I am at exceptionally low risk of a severe COVID-19 infection. Regardless of my vaccination status, I will continue to wear a mask to prevent further spread of the disease.
At the same time, Peru is facing a COVID-19 surge. Why should I, a healthy adolescent with access to high-quality medical care, be prioritized over the immunocompromised in Peru? After all, that country has been able to inoculate only about 1.3 percent of its population, leaving most of its most vulnerable unprotected. I would feel guilty being insulated from such a small personal risk if my vaccine could make so much greater a difference for someone in need.
Sharing unused vaccines with struggling countries is a sensible idea. There is no need to stockpile and hoard doses while others suffer.