New research suggests that almost one in four people may not get COVID-19 vaccines until at least 2022 because wealthy countries have reserved 51% of the doses of the most promising candidates, as reported in the National Post.
According to researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, low- and middle-income countries, which are home to more than 85% of the world's population, would have to share the remainder.
As of November 15, high-income nations had pre-ordered nearly 7.5 billion doses of vaccines from 13 manufacturers, the paper said, adding this includes Japan, Australia and Canada which collectively have more than 1 billion doses, but accounted for less than 1% of current novel coronavirus cases.
An effective response to the pandemic requires high-income countries "to share in an equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines across the world," the researchers wrote.
They added that "the uncertainty over global access to COVID-19 vaccines traces not only to ongoing clinical testing, but also from the failure of governments and vaccine manufacturers to be more transparent and accountable over these arrangements."
The researchers suggested that the WHO's COVAX Facility could play a key role in ensuring fairer access to approved vaccines, but it has only secured 500 million doses, far below its target of delivering at least 2 billion doses by the end of 2021.
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