Distribution of Covid-19 vaccines worldwide disappoints

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Courtesy of Madigan Army Medical Center

Covid-19 vaccines are effective, but they’re not getting out fast enough.

Recent news is flooded with information about the availability of Covid-19 vaccines around the world. In the midst of a pandemic scientists and researchers scrambled to assemble a vaccination to prevent the spread of the virus. The United States came up with both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, which are shown to be highly effective. Internationally it has been a struggle to produce vaccines efficiently, and reach the people who need them most. More countries than others are receiving the medications and more doses of the vaccine are expected to reach smaller, low-income countries later larger populated ones.

Wealthier countries have been more successful in receiving greater doses of the Covid-19 vaccines. These countries like China, the European Union states, Israel, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States were able to make advanced purchase agreements with vaccine makers. These countries preordered over half of the available vaccinations for 13% of the world population, leaving the middle to low-income countries with little supplies. As these wealthy countries are in the process of administering vaccines to their citizens, many low-income countries have not even begun. These low-income countries are losing the bids for supplies to wealthier countries, making it almost impossible for their citizens to be vaccinated due to the inability to secure vaccinations. Although, countries that preordered the vaccine are still struggling to acquire the medication. The distribution of vaccines in Canada and the United States have been sluggish and stagnant.

It will likely take several years for most of the world’s population to be immunized from Covid-19. Two billion doses are expected to be distributed this year. Researchers used mathematical models to test different scenarios in order to find the best way to distribute vaccines worldwide. In order for both large countries and smaller countries to obtain this medication, medical centers need to be large enough to store the vaccines, vaccines need to be shipped from medical centers to other medical centers in case of shortage, and vaccine packs must be the right size. The number of available medical centers, population size, and population distribution all play a role in how different countries will acquire this vaccine. No one can know for certain what the best way to distribute immunizations globally is. The United States government is approaching this challenge as they would a bioterrorist attack. The Biden administration is working with researchers to meet the expectations of medical centers, the staff at medical centers, and is the amount of supply in order to advance the number of immunizations. It is a challenge to balance the mass distribution of vaccinations with the importance of addressing the hesitations people have.

Many people who are resistant to get the coronavirus vaccine are people who believe all vaccines to be untrustworthy. The historic speed of time in which these vaccines were developed worries many people. People question the long term side effects of Covid-19 vaccines due to the minimal time to research. Although more than more people in several countries answered surveys saying they would get the vaccine, there is still a significant amount of people, worldwide who refuse the vaccination. The goal for many countries is to vaccinate as many people as possible, as quickly as possible, but how many people reject the vaccine and the effect of that must be considered.

To conclude, vaccines are being distributed unequally and at a slow rate. From an international perspective, it is clear that richer countries have the easiest access and less wealthy countries are suffering. Within the United States, despite having the materials, distribution is challenging and is being done slowly. It is likely that wealthy countries will be vaccinated by the end of 2021 and poorer countries can be expected to be vaccinated by 2023.