As more and more people in high-income countries become vaccinated against COVID-19, the inequitable allocation of approved vaccines across the globe is coming into stark relief. Wealthy nations have secured multiple times the amount of vaccine needed to protect their population, while low- and middle-income countries still need to get to the 20% of the population coverage offered by the COVAX Facility.
The Pandemic Action Network’s Funding and Access to COVID-19 Tools Working Group produced a policy brief urging high-income countries to coordinate with COVAX to donate excess COVID-19 vaccine doses to low- and middle-income countries – and to engage in ‘slot swaps’ to make sure vaccines can be delivered without delay to LICs and LMICs. The group has developed the paper collaboratively since January, when it became clear that countries without bilateral deals with pharmaceutical companies could be left behind. In light of this reality, the working group pushed COVAX to offer countries the option to reallocate excess supplies.
Pandemic Action Network partners and team will use these policy asks – among others – in their 2021 advocacy at international fora like the G7 and G20.