According to one recent estimate, more than half of all vaccines against COVID-19 have been reserved for one-seventh of the world’s population. At the time of writing, the UK alone has reportedly secured enough vaccines to give each of its citizens five doses. If orders are met, the EU and US could jab their populations three times over, while Canada would have enough to do so nine times.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) has urged richer countries to consider the plight of poorer ones and support Covax, an international initiative to share vaccines around the world. But despite most countries having now signed up, the initiative has been slow to get going, and its stocks are limited. In 2021, Covax is aiming to supply 1.8 billion vaccine doses to 92 eligible countries – enough to cover only 27% of their populations.