New Russian Vaccine – Revolutionary or Nationalistic?

Olivia Wick, Editor

As of August 11 of this month, Russia has created and approved a vaccine to combat the spread of the Coronavirus (Covid-19). Although many vaccines have had the possibility of working, Russia claims that this vaccine is an effective prototype ready to be shared with the world. This seems like a revolutionary step for our world as a whole, benefiting not only Russian citizens but people around the world. But could this vaccine be a new form of nationalism? 

Some conspiracists have compared this new development to the Space Race- the race between countries, predominantly Russia and the United States to be the first country to get to the moon. While the situations are completely different, the reasons behind them are incredibly similar. 

Nationalism is the concept that citizens identify with one’s own nation and support for its interests, especially to the exclusion or detriment of the interests of other nations. Often in our history, nationalism has turned into an insatiable urge to be the first country to do something magnificent- being the first nation to be on the moon or Mars, for example, or to develop the vaccine to a world-wide pandemic. The push to be the first one to ‘win’ the race to create these situations often turns heads at our moral compasses. 

So with our history with Russia, could they really have created a vaccine that could help our struggling nation to regain strength after the enormous hit we took from this pandemic, or is it the gesture that Russia could really be trying to regain favour among the UN (United Nations) by creating a possibly faulty vaccine so early on in this pandemic?