UPDATE: In the last week, we’ve seen some critical interventions from WHO, GAVI and others on the importance of ensuring development and distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine happens on an equitable basis worldwide.
As the world mobilises to develop a vaccine, some countries will struggle to ensure their citizens are protected against COVID-19 – unless work starts to prepare them now.
Those most at risk of being left behind? The poorest and most fragile countries. And those with weak institutions and poor public health infrastructure.
The great divide of the 2020s could be between the vaccinated and those denied access to immunisation. Beyond the obvious health implications, countries risk finding themselves cut off from the rest of the world, as richer and more stable countries protect themselves from secondary epidemics.
The global race to create a COVID-19 vaccine is well underway. Teams in the USA and China have already reached the first big milestone of Phase 1 clinical trials on humans, with others hard on their heels in Germany, the UK, and Australia. It’s going to take 18 months or so, and likely cost between $200 and $500 million, but the chances of a successful vaccine are high.(more…)