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The COVID-19 vaccine may almost be here, but the race is far from over. Countries have scrambled to secure doses for their populations, while often neglecting the needs of low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). As a result, LMICs have been placed last on the waiting list, with the Duke Global Health Innovation Center predicting they may have to wait until 2023 or 2024 for vaccination.
Nature reports that over 10 billion doses for the vaccine have been pre-ordered, which includes most of the 2021 manufacturing capacity for all three leading candidates (AstraZeneca, Pfizer, and Moderna).
Although they account for only around 13% of the world’s population, 27 member states of the EU along with five rich countries have pre-ordered about 1/2 of this global supply. Canada alone has pre-ordered almost 9 doses of the vaccine per person, followed by the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and the European Union in terms of the number of pre-ordered doses. Vaccine hoarding by rich countries leaves the world’s most vulnerable without access, raising questions on equitable vaccine allocation. Read more on Nature News here.