Wealthy nations have received over 16 times more COVID-19 vaccines per person than poorer nations dependent on the COVAX program backed by the World Health Organization, according to a new Financial Times analysis.
COVAX, which was set up to ensure global equitable access to vaccines, has delivered only 400 million doses after promising 1.4 billion this year. Higher-income countries struck separate vaccine deals with manufacturers, leaving COVAX with less negotiating power. While the United States rolls out booster shots and stockpiles six vaccines per person, less than 3% of people in low-income countries have received at least a single dose.
Infectious disease expert Dr. Monica Gandhi says she will not receive a booster as a healthcare worker because of the global vaccine inequity, and argues the push for boosters “detracts from the fact that we in no way have fulfilled a moral and ethical obligation to the world.”
We also speak with Kate Elder, senior vaccines adviser for Doctors Without Borders, who says that it is a structural issue caused by global leaders who are not “equitably sharing vaccines around the world.”
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