2020-12-17 13:11:14

As Wealthy Countries Hoard Vaccine Supply, Pandemic Could Rage in Poor Countries Until 2024

Health experts are raising concerns that wealthy countries have reserved enough coronavirus vaccine doses to immunize their populations multiple times over, while poorer countries may only have enough to vaccinate about 20%.

Reuters reports the World Health Organization’s global plan for delivering COVID-19 vaccines to 91 poor and middle-income countries faces a “very high” risk of failure and could leave billions of people with no access to vaccines until 2024.

“What we see is that something like 90% of all the vaccine doses that have been purchased have actually been done directly by countries, mostly middle-income and high-income countries,” says Dr. Krishna Udayakumar, founding director of the Duke Global Health Innovation Center, who has been tracking COVID-19 vaccine purchases around the world.

“What we are seeing is a lot of side deals, in essence, where people are trying to also ensure that they are hedging their bets to make this work.”

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