HEALTH

How to vaccinate the whole world (not just rich countries) against COVID

Jan 7, 2022, 5:38 PM | Updated: Apr 29, 2022, 11:13 am
vaccinate the world...
FILE - March 10, 2021, file photo shows a staff member of Ochsner Health carries a tray filled with syringes containing the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine as people come into the Castine Center in Pelican Park to be vaccinated in Mandeville, La. The stark vaccine access gap is prompting increased calls across the world for the U.S. to start shipping vaccine supplies to poorer countries. (Chris Granger/The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate

SALT LAKE CITY — Last year, wealthy countries bought about 70% of all COVID-19 vaccines, while only 1% went to poorer nations. How can this global imbalance be fixed in order to give more people access and vaccinate the whole world?

Related: Salt Lake County indoor mask order will be effective at midnight Friday

An expert in supply chains for products with social benefits, Professor Prashant Yadav is a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development and joined Inside Sources host Boyd Matheson.

Fixing the global vaccine supply chain

Yadav pointed out that multiple manufacturers collectively produced about 10 billion doses of COVID vaccines. The number of humans on Earth numbered 7.75 billion in 2020.

Due to the uneven distribution of vaccines, “Nigeria and many other countries in Africa, which are unable to access vaccine supplies, their vaccination coverage rates are still lower than 2 to 3%,” Yadav said.

Related: Utah company develops COVID-19 vaccine distribution software

Also adding to vaccine imbalance is manufacturing capacity, which is highly insufficient, he said.

“Every single vaccine dose that we can administer, society as a collective gains thousands of dollars through economic and health benefits,” Yadav said.

Individual manufacturing firms cannot ensure the maximum capacity of vaccine doses. That has to be done by wealthier countries. And, that capacity needs to be placed in the right regions, he added.

Related: Health department formalizes plan for COVID-19 vaccine distribution

“It’s not okay to have it all concentrated in the US and in Europe, India, and China. Some capacity needs to be in Africa and Latin America,” Yadav said. ” How to keep that capacity sustainable, so that it’s not just a one-shot investment that then decays over time, is the need and the question of the hour.”

Inoculating the world population against coronavirus will require coordination between governments, vaccine manufacturers and the global business community.

 

Inside Sources with Boyd Matheson can be heard weekdays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app. 

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How to vaccinate the whole world (not just rich countries) against COVID