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South Korea should play larger role in ending pandemic

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By Troy Stangarone

As we approach the end of the second year of the pandemic, the world faces renewed uncertainty from the Omicron variant of COVID-19. However, now that South Korea has fully vaccinated 80.6 percent of its population against the coronavirus there is an opportunity for it to play a larger role in ending the pandemic.

Part of the global uncertainty is from a failure of global leadership to end the pandemic. Better coordination might not have prevented the rise of the Omicron variant, but traditional global leaders such as the United States and the other G-7 nations, along with aspiring global or regional leaders such as China or those of the Quad, have failed to facilitate the type of cooperation necessary to bring the pandemic to an end.

To end the pandemic the world needs to slow the ability of COVID-19 to replicate, but vaccine distribution has been uneven. High-income countries such as the United States, the members of the European Union and South Korea have purchased a majority of the world's vaccines, limiting the ability to vaccinate other populations. According to Our World in Data, 55 percent of the world's population has received at least one dose of a COVID vaccine, but only 6.2 percent in low-income countries have received a........

© The Korea Times

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