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Table of Contents
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 7

COVID-19 Vaccines, Accelerated Innovations, and 21st Century Social Contracts Challenges

Clinical Professor Global Health, Health Policy & Management, Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, School of Medicine & School of Public Health, The George Washington University, Washington, D.C, United States

Date of Submission02-Feb-2021
Date of Decision02-Feb-2021
Date of Acceptance03-Feb-2021
Date of Web Publication29-Apr-2021

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Eliot Sorel
The George Washington University, Washington, DC
United States
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/wsp.wsp_4_21

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How to cite this article:
Sorel E. COVID-19 Vaccines, Accelerated Innovations, and 21st Century Social Contracts Challenges. World Soc Psychiatry 2021;3:7

How to cite this URL:
Sorel E. COVID-19 Vaccines, Accelerated Innovations, and 21st Century Social Contracts Challenges. World Soc Psychiatry [serial online] 2021 [cited 2023 Jun 6];3:7. Available from: https://www.worldsocpsychiatry.org/text.asp?2021/3/1/7/315123

The devastating COVID-19 pandemic that started in Wuhan, China in the autumn of 2019 has infected over 80 million people, caused nearly 2 million deaths worldwide but with no immediate end in sight. The pandemic has severely tested the fraying social contracts globally.[1]

The COVID-19 pandemic also has been paradoxically catalytic to lead onto an accelerated innovation of a vaccine which was developed with unprecedented speed. This rapid innovation is heralding what the World Economic Forum refers to as the upcoming Fourth Industrial Revolution stimulated with anticipated, unprecedented outcomes stimulated by human intelligence, Information Technology, and Artificial Intelligence integration.

The current rise of Artificial Intelligence applications and their creative integration with Information Technology and human intelligence will accelerate post-pandemic innovations across domains and low-, middle-, and high-income economies. There will likely be the widening of the gap between haves and have-nots worldwide, especially affecting mostly the low and middle-skilled workers; thereby affecting social contracts across economies.

Renegotiations of all existing social contracts will be a formidable challenge for all nations

The human/animal interface was likely the origin of the current pandemic and its devastating consequences. Human/animal destructive interfaces have caused irreparable damage to our environment, accelerated climate change and are likely to increase the recurrence of pandemics and pose major threats to life on Planet Earth as we know of it.

The rapid and devastating changes inflicted on our planet by human-generated climate change and the violation of the human/animal species/nature interface merit development of rapid solutions on par to the aptly demonstrated accelerated vaccine development. Investing in solving climate change challenges with alacrity will also likely diminish the chances of recurring future pandemics.

Social contracts are essential to buttressing all our human enterprises

We must consider the trifecta of economic systems, national, and international contracts. Regarding economic systems and the nature of capitalism, they concur with the recent reflections on the need for a “capitalism that must be responsive not only to its stockholders but also to its stakeholders.” On national social contracts, citizens and nations would mutually benefit if health, education, employment, and development would be accessible to all. Such examples of national social contracts do exist but are by no means universal yet.

We must, in 2021, commit to do the best we can to successfully exit from this devastating pandemic

We must do so via renewed national, international collaboration, and solidarity; to rapidly and equitably distribute and implement national and global vaccination campaigns; to creatively integrate artificial and human intelligence for new innovation of benefit to humankind and respectful of nature; stimulate national and global public, private, and philanthropy institutional collaborations on all of the above; develop and implement a joint pandemics and natural emergencies global alert systems, inclusive of swift genetic identifications; and facilitate rapid collaborative solutions, across domains, on par with the current vaccine innovations developed with remarkable and unprecedented alacrity.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Sorel E. The COVID-19 pandemic: A National and Global Social Contracts Stress Test. World Soc Psychiatry 2020;2:72-3.  Back to cited text no. 1
  [Full text]  


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