Vaccine Nationalism = Long Wait for Poor Countries

Low-resource countries could be waiting until 2024 for COVID-19 vaccines, as wealthier nations grab up ~8.8 billion prospective doses, Forbes reports.

  • Some countries bought into the WHO's Covax scheme, but also made deals on the side, The Guardian reports—while countries like Ethiopia will get just enough to cover 1/5th of its population.
  • The US, UK, EU, and Canada snatched up the first hundreds of millions of doses of a less temperature-sensitive candidate, which would have helped poor countries lacking cold-chain supply infrastructure.

A glimmer of moral leadership:

  • Australia has moved to buy 80m+ prospective vaccine doses—but pledged to share its supply with smaller neighbors like Vanuatu and Fiji.

Boosting manufacturing capacity or pushing rich countries to share excess supplies through Covax could also help, says Andrea Taylor, an assistant director at Duke’s Center.

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