Despite COVID-19 vaccines being widely available in the United States, lower and middle income countries in comparison face issues of access to shots. On the latest episode of Policy Chats, Anil Deolalikar and Bruce Link discuss the inequities of COVID-19 vaccine distribution.
“You have a situation where I believe a third to a half of all the currently available vaccines and produced vaccines in the world are under the control of the rich countries who constitute less than 12 or 13 percent of the world's population” said Deolalikar, Dean of the UCR School of Public Policy. “So it’s a question of resources and resource allocation.”
According to ourworldindata.org, upper-middle income countries have a share of only 35% of their population with one dose, while lower-middle income countries are at 15%, and low income countries are only at 1% of their total population.
“There are inequalities in how [vaccines were distributed] through the population,” said Link, a Distinguished Professor of Public Policy and Sociology at the UCR School of Public Policy. “And now there are inequalities and how the distribution of the vaccines is common. So basically we're creating a new connection between having resources and health.”
The episode with Deolalikar and Link also covers other topics such as the societal implications of these inequities, the supply and demand dilemma between vaccine availability and interest, and vaccine patents. Listen to the episode here.
Launched in 2020, the UCR School of Public Policy podcast series explores current public policy issues with guests from throughout the policy world. Episodes are accessible via Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and Anchor. More information is also available through the UCR School of Public Policy podcast page.