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Salud colectiva

Print version ISSN 1669-2381On-line version ISSN 1851-8265


UGALDE, Antonio; HELLMANN, Fernando  and  HOMEDES, Núria. Inequity in access to vaccines: the failure of the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Salud colect. [online]. 2022, vol.18, e4190.  Epub Oct 01, 2022. ISSN 1669-2381.

This article summarizes the strategies used to rapidly develop COVID-19 vaccines and distribute them globally, with an emphasis on vaccines developed in western nations. It is based on interviews and information gathered regarding the response to the pandemic, both from international organizations and official documents from Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Peru, and Mexico. While vaccine development has been hailed as successful, their global distribution has been highly unequal. We look at how the pandemic succeeded in mobilizing large quantities of government resources, and how citizens volunteered their bodies so that clinical trials could be completed quickly. However, patents prevented the expansion of manufacturing capacity, and the governments of a few wealthy countries prioritized the protection - and in some cases overprotection - of their citizens at the expense of protecting the rest of world’s population. Among the major beneficiaries of the global response to the pandemic are the leading vaccine companies, their executives, and investors. The article concludes with some of the lessons learned in this process.

Keywords : Vaccines; COVID-19; Global Health; Delivery of Health Care.

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