Published September 2021
The promises and pitfalls of COVID-19 vaccine equity
By Kanni Wignaraja and Swarnim Waglé

Can vaccines be classified as a global public good? While the overall numbers of those being vaccinated are heartening, they are also heavily skewed, with 90% of this global drive confined to the European Union, along with 11 other countries. In Asia and the Pacific, the numbers vaccinated remain very low – given current rates, it will take bold new measures if global herd immunity is to be achieved by the end of 2022.

The article introduces the potential obstacles to vaccine equity and the growing disparity between countries with strong supplies of vaccines and those without. Failure to address this vulnerability will see the gap between vaccinated and unvaccinated grow, leading to further global repercussions. It is therefore crucial to establish cooperation mechanisms and take strategic decisions on the prioritisation and sequencing of public health and public financing policy.