Vaccine diplomacy – The offensives of charm

It’s been a long time since our planet has been hit with so many problems which solutions caused so many divisions. Firstly, like never before, there are conspiracy theories that have been evolving along with the pandemic develops – initially, they said that the virus was linked to the 5G network, that the curfew was a cover for migrants to set up 5G and settle in Serbia, or elsewhere, etc. Of course, there were also bigger and more “exotic“conspiracy theories.


To remind about an incessant mention of „chips“ which cannot remain in the bloodstream if they are solid (they would be expelled from the body very quickly) and they do not exist in a liquid state. Now, the latest theory spread by anti-vaxxers is that the “chip” is actually altered or inserted RNA. Imagination does run wild which exposes a sad truth, and that is 1) people are uneducated 2) people do not trust states and elites. These are two problems, in fact, and the second is much bigger.


Finally, when the vaccine was developed, we had to deal with a triple problem: 1) convincing people to get vaccinated because if we don’t vaccinate 67-70% of the population, there is no “collective immunity”, and the virus cannot disappear – so, instead of in March, the epidemic will disappear in August, where collective vaccination does not take place, 2) some believe in one vaccine, not in others, 3) some believe in every vaccine but cannot get it because rich countries have reserved all the doses produced from Western sources. But, fortunately, the vaccine comes from various sources.

Great Britain was the first country to start vaccinating with the US vaccines which annoyed the Americans who approved it at a later date. The Russians came right after them. The bidding with percentages started too – the Russian vaccine, Sputnik V, is 95% efficient, some say that other vaccines are from 92% and onwards efficient… That’s all great, but what ensued was the slander. Westerners have not mentioned the Russian vaccine at all, while certain countries don’t even want to receive the American one. And yet, 50 countries have immediately ordered the Russian vaccine, including the biggest ones – India, Brazil, China and South Korea. Hungary asked the EU countries for a Russian vaccine, and 92% of Serbian citizens said that they had confidence in the Russian vaccine, which is the highest percentage of trust among all vaccines. However, the Russians will simultaneously vaccinate their citizens in December, and only in January, will they dispatch the vaccines abroad. They must not be flippant about it either – if they send too many vaccines abroad, the citizens of Russia will feel betrayed. If they do not send them until they vaccinate the Russians, the world will lose the will to wait for them.


The first part of the pandemic seriously shook the West because after the initial rage against the Chinese for “causing the pandemic by eating bats”, they were grateful to China for sending masks and ventilators all over the world, even to Europe. Together with its Western allies, the United States is focusing on having enough vaccines for the “Western world” – from Alaska to Australia to the EU. And they will succeed in that. But they will not be able to supply the whole world fast enough and that’s where the Russians and the Chinese emerge – the Chinese, with their Silk Road, and the Russians, with wherever they can and should – the BRICS countries, Africa, Eastern Europe, Central Asia, South America. After that, comes a series of surprises. Sudden “pacts” are formed just like in the board game Risico. Here are some of the headlines: “The UAE has approved the vaccine against COVID-19 produced by Sinopharm / CNBG, the state-owned pharmaceutical company from China”, „It is 86% effective and uses the old school methods so people find it easier to believe in it.“

And the one who provides the vaccines, as soon as possible and at a good price, will be celebrated as a saviour. In the “Global South”, Russia and China, to a great extent, will reign.

This is a vaccine that is based on the chemically inactivated SARS-CoV-2 virus which triggers the body’s immune response. Some examples of vaccines that contain inactivated viruses are polio and the flu vaccine. The Chinese don’t need that many vaccines because the epidemic is under control, so they can send them abroad. Some of their clients include Mexico, Brazil, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Jordan, the UAE, Bahrain, Egypt, Morocco, Indonesia, Russia and Turkey. China has promised that 6 million doses of CoronaWac, made by the biotechnology company Sinovac, will reach Brazil by January, where they are eagerly awaited. If you don’t have money, the Chinese will give them to you “on the tab” – a loan of one billion dollars will be approved to the Latin American and Caribbean countries. A healthy person has 1,000 wishes, while a sick person has only one. China has two more vaccines in the final phase and is preparing to produce 3 billion doses in 2021, which could immunize 1.5 billion people – some in China, some elsewhere. It’s all a matter of prestige – it’s called the Silk Health Road.

While waiting for the story to end, the whole world will look like Africa in 1912. At that time, there was ‘The Scramble for Africa’, where European colonial powers seized all countries except Ethiopia and Liberia. Now, the whole world will be a testing ground for influence. And the one who provides the vaccines, as soon as possible and at a good price, will be celebrated as a saviour. In the ‘Global South’, Russia and China, to a great extent, will reign. The global shifts in power and reputation due to the coronavirus will be greater than the economic ones, thanks to which China has already taken an unexpected step ahead of everyone. In bookmakers’ world, this is called “from 2 to 1” – from defeat to victory.

By Žikica Milošević

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