Gavin Yamey, professor of global health and public policy, Patricia Garcia, professor, Fatima Hassan, director, Wenhui Mao, senior research and policy associate, Kaci Kennedy McDade, policy associate, Madhukar Pai, professor of epidemiology and global health, Senjuti Saha, director and scientist, Philip Schellekens, senior adviser, Andrea Taylor, assistant director of programs, Krishna Udayakumar, founding director
During the covid-19 pandemic, we have seen the best of international collective action and its limits. Global scientific cooperation drove the development of safe, highly effective covid-19 vaccines in under one year. Yet we have also witnessed global vaccine inequity, in which low and middle-income countries have “limited supply and limited vaccine brand options.”
With the omicron wave dissipating, several well vaccinated high income nations with stockpiles of covid-19 vaccines are rushing to declare the pandemic over, reminding us of how things unfolded with tuberculosis, malaria, and HIV/AIDS in the past. But the pandemic is not over and 2.8 billion people remain completely unvaccinated. Now is the time to recommit to, and further invest in, equitable and effective country-led vaccination campaigns.
In this paper, we briefly examine how global vaccine inequity arose, layout a renewed case for urgently ramping up our commitment to vaccine equity, and propose principles to ensure no one is left behind in the quest to vaccinate the world.