See How Rich Countries Got to the Front of the Vaccine Line

Milestones :: Perspectives :: Research

 

New York Times
March 31, 2021
See How Rich Countries Got to the Front of the Vaccine Line
By Keith Collins and Josh Holder
More than half a billion vaccine doses have been administered worldwide so far, and well over three-quarters of them have been used by the world’s richest countries. The reason, experts say, lies in how — and when — deals for doses were struck…

 

…The result has been that, as of March 30, 86 percent of shots that have gone into arms worldwide have been administered in high- and upper-middle-income countries. Only 0.1 percent of doses have been administered in low-income countries…

…But even with that influx, poor countries may end up waiting years before their populations can be fully vaccinated. Kenya, for example, expects that by 2023 it will have just 30 percent of its population vaccinated, and that’s with Covax covering the first 20 percent. That long wait would give the virus more time to spread, and potentially give rise to new mutations.
The global race for doses has also affected which countries get which vaccines. With much of the supply of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines already spoken for by wealthier countries, China, India and Russia have become important suppliers of vaccines to lower-income countries. And some experts believe those governments can use such relationships to gain sway