Research-based
policy recommendations
for the G7

Ending Vaccine Inequity and Injustice

Abstract

Vaccine inequity has devastated millions of lives globally. It has not only impacted citizens of poorer countries who are unable to access vaccines but also people in more industrialised nations as access became stratified across race, income level and geographic location. Ultimately, the uneven rollout has affected the entire international community as variants continue to proliferate and raise the possibility of reduced vaccine efficacy against COVID-19. This inequity is a symptom of the larger malaise of uneven and skewed health systems, affecting economic development and, social stability. Thus, this moment is critical for both financial and moral reasons, providing the G7 with the opportunity to rethink and to act on equitable vaccine access and health priorities. This issue paper is set in the context that the worst effects of the COVID-19 pandemic may be waning (Murray, 2022) but there are stark warnings of increased occurrence and severity of pandemics in the future due to rapid and chaotic urbanisation, climate change and deforestation (Thoradeniya & Jayasinghe, 2021). It is therefore crucial that the next pandemic does not catch us unprepared as this one did, and we avert the tremendous toll on lives, livelihoods and societies. A vaccine delayed is a vaccine denied. The present injustice and vague promises should be replaced by genuine action to save lives—all lives. The c urrent course of action will not contain transmission of the virus and we need continued joint collaborations and initiatives if we are to progress towards an equitable world.