Oct 22, 2021 - Health

The world is on track with COVID vaccines — except for poor countries

Projected percentage of population with at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine
Data: KFF; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

The world as a whole is on track to meet the WHO's goal of 70% of the global population vaccinated by mid-2022. But low-income countries are very much not, according to a new KFF analysis.

Why it matters: Without some kind of intervention, people who live in low-income countries will keep dying long into the future as the virus keeps circulating, and the risk of dangerous new variants will rise.

Between the lines: Europe and the Americas initially had the world's highest vaccination rates.

  • Over the summer, the Western Pacific region surpassed them, and the South-East Asia region is also seeing vaccination rates quickly climb.
  • The Eastern Mediterranean region is lagging behind, and only about 6% of Africa's population has received at least one dose.

What they're saying: "Instead of working together to support common sense proposals to vaccinate the world as quickly as possible, the G7, the EU and the pharmaceutical corporations have signed a 'devil's pact,'" The People's Vaccine Alliance, which advocates for greater vaccine equity, wrote in a white paper released yesterday.

  • "[W]ealthy countries hoard doses and break promises, while pharmaceutical corporations exploit their monopolies to earn record profits."
Go deeper