The World Health Organization’s Covax facility, a scheme created to secure equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines, could play a key role in fairer distribution of vaccine stock, the study says.
But efforts to coordinate global access through Covax have already lagged behind.
The US and Russia, two key vaccine manufacturing countries, have yet to sign up to the scheme – although it is hoped that when he takes office US President Elect Joe Biden will join the scheme. And $5 billion more will be needed to meet the Covax target of procuring at least two billion doses by 2021.
Last week a coalition of charities, including Oxfam, warned that poor countries risk being trampled in the race to secure enough coronavirus vaccines after analysis revealed that wealthier nations have bought up enough doses to vaccinate their entire populations at least three times over by the end of 2021.
By contrast, only one in ten people across 67 of the poorest countries within the World Health Organization’s Covax group will have access to a coronavirus vaccine in that same time period, its data showed.
A lack of transparency from governments and manufacturers has only perpetuated the problem, allowing countries to hoard stock in secret, researchers at John Hopkins University said.
“High income countries have secured future supplies of covid-19 vaccines, but access for the rest of the world is uncertain,” they said.
“Governments and manufacturers might provide much needed assurances for equitable allocation of Covid-19 vaccines through greater transparency and accountability over these arrangements.”
Estimated portion of unreserved coronavirus vaccine stock