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breaking news Vaccine inequality undermines global economic recovery

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The new global COVID-19 vaccine equity dashboard reveals that low-income countries would add $ 38 billion to their GDP forecast for 2021 if they had the same immunization rate as high-income countries. The global economic recovery is threatened if vaccines are not manufactured, scaled and distributed equitably.

July 22, 2021 – The inequity of the COVID-19 vaccine will have a lasting and profound impact on socio-economic recovery in low- and lower-middle-income countries without urgent action to increase supply and ensure equitable access for each country, including through dose sharing, according to new data released today by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the University of Oxford.

Accelerating the scale-up of manufacturing and sharing sufficient vaccine doses with low-income countries could have added $ 38 billion to their GDP projections for 2021 if they had similar immunization rates to countries high income. At a time when richer countries have poured billions of dollars in stimulus to support declining economies, now is the time to ensure vaccine doses are shared quickly, with all obstacles to increasing the vaccine manufacturing are phased out and financial support is provided so that vaccines are distributed equitably and truly global economic recovery can take place.

A high price per dose of COVID-19 vaccine relative to other vaccines and delivery costs – including for increased health workforce – could strain fragile health systems and undermine routine immunization and health services. essential health services and could cause alarming spikes in measles, pneumonia and diarrhea. There is also a clear risk in terms of missed opportunities for the expansion of other immunization services, for example the safe and effective deployment of HPV vaccines. Low-income countries need rapid access to affordable vaccines and timely financial support.

This information comes from the Global Dashboard for COVID-19 Vaccine Equity, a joint initiative of UNDP, WHO and the Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford, which combines the latest information on COVID-19 vaccination with the most recent socio-economic data to illustrate why accelerating equity in vaccines is not only essential to save lives, but also to lead to a faster and fairer recovery from the pandemic with benefits for all.

“In some low- and middle-income countries, less than 1% of the population is vaccinated – this is contributing to a two-speed recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner. “It’s time to act swiftly and collectively – this new COVID-19 vaccine equity dashboard will provide governments, policymakers and international organizations with unique insights to accelerate global vaccine delivery and mitigate social impacts. – devastating economic effects of the pandemic. “

According to the new dashboard, which draws on data from several entities, including the IMF, World Bank, UNICEF and Gavi, and the analysis of GDP per capita growth rates from Economic Outlook world, richer countries are expected to vaccinate faster and recover economically faster from COVID-19, while poorer countries have not even been able to immunize their health workers and the population most at risk and may not reach pre-COVID-19 growth levels until 2024. Meanwhile, Delta and other variants are pushing some countries to reinstate strict social public health measures. This further worsens the social, economic and health impact, especially for the most vulnerable and marginalized people. Vaccine inequity threatens all countries and risks reversing hard-won progress on the Sustainable Development Goals.

“Vaccine inequity is the biggest obstacle in the world to ending this pandemic and recovering from COVID-19”, said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organization. “Economically, epidemiologically and morally, it is in the interest of all countries to use the latest available data to make life-saving vaccines accessible to all. “

Designed to empower policymakers and development partners to take urgent action to reduce immunization inequalities, the global scorecard breaks down the impact of accessibility against a goal for countries to immunize first their populations at risk in order to reduce mortality and protect the health system, then to move to immunize a larger part of the population to reduce the burden of disease and reopen socio-economic activity.

The dashboard is facilitated by the Global Plan of Action for Healthy Lives and Well-Being for All (SDG3 GAP), which aims to improve collaboration across the multilateral system to support a fair and resilient recovery after pandemic and advance health-related progress. ODD.

“It is necessary to close the vaccine gap to put this pandemic behind us. The dashboard can help scale up and accelerate global vaccine delivery by providing accurate and up-to-date information not only on the number of vaccines administered, but also on the policies and mechanisms by which we arm them, ”said Dr Thomas Hale, Associate Professor of Global Public Policy, Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford.

The dashboard will be updated in real time as new data becomes available, filling a critical gap to help guide the international community’s understanding of what can be done to achieve vaccine equity. Users can and are encouraged to download all datasets in their entirety from the website.

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