Global Dashboard for Vaccine Equity
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- The Global Dashboard for Vaccine Equity has put out recent data that says only one in four people has been vaccinated with at least one dose in low- and middle-income countries as of November 9, 2022. In comparison, in high income countries, three in four people have got at least one dose of the vaccine.
Global Dashboard for Vaccine Equity
- Global Dashboard for Vaccine Equity is a joint effort by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the University of Oxford with cooperation across the UN system.
- The Global Dashboard for Vaccine Equity combines the latest data on the global roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines with the “most recent socio-economic information to illustrate why accelerating vaccine equity is not only critical to saving lives but also to driving a faster and fairer recovery from the pandemic with benefits for all.” It provides new, actionable insights and possibilities for policy makers to dive into the implications of vaccine inequity for socio-economic recovery, jobs and welfare.
What is Vaccine Equity?
- Vaccine equity means that vaccines should be allocated across all countries based on needs and regardless of their economic status.
- Access to and allocation of vaccines should be based on principles grounded in the right of every human to enjoy the highest attainable standard of health without distinction of race, religion, political belief, economic, or any other social condition.
- A slower and delayed vaccination rollout in low and middle-income countries has left them vulnerable to COVID-19 variants, new surges of the virus and a slower recovery out of the crisis. High-income countries started vaccination on average two months earlier than low-income countries and vaccination coverage in low-income countries is still strikingly low.
- Data from the MI4A COVID-19 Vaccine Purchase Dataset shows that the average cost per COVID-19 vaccine dose ranges between US$ 2 – $ 40. The estimated delivery cost is US$ 3.70 per person vaccinated with two doses, after accounting for vaccine wastage.
- This represents a significant financial burden for low-income countries, where the average annual per capita health expenditure amounts to US$ 41 (Global Health Expenditure Database).
- Lancet Study: Widening gaps in global vaccine equity have led to a two-track pandemic with booster COVID-19 vaccinations proliferating in high-income countries (HICs) and first doses not yet reaching all populations in low-income countries (LICs).
- During COVID-19 pandemic, vaccine production was insufficient to meet global demand. Many wealthy countries turned inwards, procuring vaccine doses through exclusive bilateral deals for their domestic populations (vaccine nationalism).
- While vaccination programmes will increase healthcare costs across all countries, it is especially the case in low-income countries as they would need to increase their health expenditure by a staggering 30-60% to reach 70% of their population under the current pricing. High-income countries are expected to increase theirs by only 0.8% to achieve the same vaccination rate in one year.
Significance of Global Dashboard for Vaccine Equity
- Globally, the distribution of vaccines is shaped by challenging political, economic, social, diplomatic, and health-related matters.
- Therefore, accurate and up-to-date data and information are critical components in guiding the international community’s understanding of vaccine equity and shed light on the blind spots essential for achieving the last mile on vaccine equity.
- Going by WHO’s dictum that no one is safe until everyone is safe, it is imperative that adequate quantities of COVID-19 vaccine are available to countries across the world, particularly at a time when the risk of new variants causing further waves of infections is still alive.
- The WHO has called for concerted and urgent action from countries, international partners and agencies to increase vaccination levels and expedite access.