Vaccine inequalities and challenges in its global distribution – .

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Vaccine inequalities and challenges in its global distribution – .


The recently discovered Omicron variant has highlighted the uneven distribution of vaccines and the lack of accessibility to vaccines among some of the most vulnerable groups in many low-income countries around the world.

Vaccine inequity has amplified the logistical burden and highlighted visible flaws in the global health system.

Using data from the Government of Canada and the Duke Global Health Innovation Center, CTVNews.ca has created a series of charts illustrating the inequity of the COVID-19 vaccine and the challenges of its global distribution.

Surplus of vaccines

As of October 28, 2021, only 6% of the African population was fully vaccinated. By comparison, more than 70 percent of high-income countries like Canada and the United States have already vaccinated more than 40 percent of their population.

Rich countries bought many more doses than they need, while procurement through COVAX and bilateral agreements struggled. According to Duke Global Health Innovation Center, 44% of COVID-19 doses have gone to wealthy countries.

Vaccine inequity has always been a concern for the lead agency, the World Health Organization (WHO). In his opening remarks earlier this year, Chief Executive Officer Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said: “Equity in vaccines is the challenge of our time. And we fail.

To tackle the problem, WHO, Gavi – the Vaccine Alliance, the United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) joined together to launch last year a program called COVAX to seek vaccine donations and tackle vaccine inequalities. . With the start of the program, many developed countries have rushed to pledge their support, but data shows a delay in the promised shipment.

While the United States has promised the most doses, it has only managed to ship 24% of the doses committed as of December 1, 2021. By comparison, Canada has shipped 18% of the total doses promised, according to the reports. data. compiled by Duke Global Health Innovation Center.

Through COVAX, Canada has shipped over 8.3 million excess vaccine doses and over 762,080 doses of AstraZeneca through direct bilateral agreements with countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. Figures updated by the Canadian government from August of this year show that Uganda and Rwanda received the highest number of doses (Moderna) via COVAX.

The most doses purchased per capita come from countries in high-income groups, according to the Launch and Scale Speedometer run by the Duke Global Health Innovation Center. Canada procured 11.41 doses per capita, double what the United States obtained.

Challenges of vaccine distribution

In addition to the lack of supplies in poor countries, making vaccines accessible to communities has its share of challenges.

Even with the promised supplies, most countries are either poorly equipped or have underfunded public health infrastructure.

In addition, the short shelf life and high storage costs of vaccines have delayed the rate at which vaccination rates are monitored.

Recently, the WHO noted that the distribution of vaccine donations through COVAX was ad hoc. The African Vaccine Acquisition Trust established by the agency received more than 90 million doses under the program, but due to “little notice and short shelf lives”, the planning of vaccination campaigns had become ” extremely difficult ”.

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