FP Virtual Dialogue: How to End Vaccine Apartheid
Can the world be safe while vaccines are out of reach for so many?
Foreign Policy, in partnership with Brand South Africa, hosted an event exploring COVID-19 vaccine distribution, the latest developments in the COVAX initiative, the role of IP protections and public-private partnerships in meeting production goals, and more.
With the world about to enter the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic, the gulf in vaccination rates between developed and developing nations remains severe. While wealthy nations are now offering booster shots for their own vaccinated populations, only 7% of citizens in lower-income countries have received one dose. With new variants of the coronavirus such as Omicron emerging, the discrepancy between wealthier nations and countries in the developing world are growing starker — and experts warn those discrepancies will create health risks that won’t be contained by borders.
Despite commitments at the October 2021 G20 Summit to achieve a 70% vaccinated world by mid-2022, efforts to achieve that goal remain hobbled by vaccine nationalism, a lack of effective global cooperation, and stymied attempts to lower the cost of production and distribution. For all its idealism, the COVAX initiative has severely underperformed—and looks unlikely to be able to meet the world’s needs without structural change, broader support, and a widened vaccine supply base.
As the world looks to end the coronavirus pandemic, how can public and private sectors work together to ensure equitable access to vaccines across the globe? Our conversation looked at how global best practices can best be shared and implemented to help bridge the vaccine divide and avoid a “forever pandemic.”
Join the conversation with #BridgingtheVaxDivide.