The Global Inequality of COVID-19 Vaccines

26th July 2021 by Soufiane Taleb

A global pandemic needs a unified vaccine solution. However, at the current rate, it may take until mid-2022 to achieve the high level of global immunity required to bring the pandemic under control. This is according to Richard Hatchett, CEO of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI). [1]

Why is global immunisation important?

The current death toll from the pandemic sits at over 4 million confirmed deaths, [2] with a further 80,000 deaths still happening each week – and billions of lives disrupted. [3, 4] Economically, $375 billion are lost from the global economy every month without vaccination. [4] However, rich countries have been buying up nearly all available vaccines and leaving little for anyone else, as illustrated by figures 1 and 2, with nearly 85% of vaccine doses administered in developed countries. [3]

Figure 1, Progress on vaccinations by GDP per capita, Financial Times COVID-19 vaccine tracker, accessed 26th July 2021. Circle size represents population. [5]