As we exceed 100 million COVID-19 cases worldwide, it’s clear that we need a global, equitable effort to beat the pandemic. But data from around the world—including the United States—shows that we have a long way to go to get there.
“More than 39 million doses of vaccine have now been administered in at least 49 higher-income countries,” said World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, reports VOA News.
However: “Just 25 doses have been given in one lowest income country.”
“Vaccine equity is not just a moral imperative; it is a strategic and economic imperative,” he continued. If developed nations vaccinate their own populations but don’t ensure equitable access in developing nations, it’ll cost the global economy as much as $9.2 trillion—with wealthier nations incurring almost half, found the International Chamber of Commerce Research Foundation.
This is why BIO applauded the United States’ decision to join the COVAX Facility, the global effort to deliver COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics to poor and under-developed countries.
But we have to work on equity at home, too. “Early analyses and news reports show that in many cities and states, people of color—particularly Black Americans—are falling behind white Americans in the vaccination effort,” reported Axios.
“Hispanic, Black, and lower-income Americans are more likely than white and higher-income Americans to say they don't have enough information about when or where they'll be able to get a coronavirus vaccine, according to new KFF polling,” said another Axios report. Access to a computer or internet to make a vaccination appointment as well as access to pharmacies or vaccination sites are also inequitable.
The bottom line? We must prioritize equity. Learn what BIO’s doing to counteract the systemic inequality, injustice, and unfair treatment of underserved communities.
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“Johnson & Johnson said it expects to…deliver 100 million doses for use in the U.S. by the end of June if the data are positive and the vaccine is authorized.”