Stockpiled Vaccines Drive Global Inequity

Enough COVID-19 vaccines have been made to inoculate most of the world. But dozens of low-income countries still face shortages because rich nations are stockpiling hundreds of millions more doses than they need, STAT News reports

WHO’s 2021 and 2022 global vaccination goals—40% and 70% of the population, respectively—are achievable but the vaccines aren’t in the right places. Just 7.1% of people in in low-income countries have received at least 1 dose. 

Other obstacles in undervaccinated populations exacerbate the problem: 

  • In Zambia, health workers are contending with weak health care infrastructure and an overall attitude of “vaccine indifference” among people with more pressing priorities, The New York Times reports
  • And in Peru, vaccinators are challenged by the geography and religion-driven reluctance, NPR’s Goats and Soda finds. Health workers say the goal is to offer the vaccine multiple times—but that is difficult in the remote areas of the Amazon. 
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