Rich country vs. poor country: Global vaccination gap grows — extending the pandemic for us all

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Outside a vaccination center in Mumbai. Credit: Reuters
Outside a vaccination center in Mumbai. Credit: Reuters

For much of the world, particularly for those living in low- and middle-income countries, COVID-19 vaccines remain out of reach. While international efforts, such as COVAX and additional vaccine donations are seeking to increase global vaccine access, several estimates suggest that many countries may not achieve substantial levels of vaccination until at least 2023.

As of July 7, whereas more than half of individuals (51%) have received at least one dose in high-income countries (HICs), only 1% of the population in [low-income countries (LICs)], 14% in [lower middle-income countries (LMICs)], and 31% in upper middle-income countries (UMICs) have received at least one dose.

Similarly, there is also a large gulf in the rate at which vaccines are being administered by country income. While the daily rate of first doses administered varies by country… HICs were administering first doses at a rate nearly 2 times the rate in LMICs and in UMICs, and nearly 30 times the rate in LICs.

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Increasing vaccine supplies and stepping up the pace of vaccinations in those countries lagging furthest behind can narrow the equity gap and help all countries achieve COVID-19 vaccination coverage goals.

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Related article:  Africa and COVID: The world’s least prepared continent experiencing an increase in cases linked to new Delta variant
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