05/21/2021

How Do You Solve a Problem Like World Vaccination?

17:08 minutes

an abstract image of the earth on top of rows of vaccine syringes
Credit: Shutterstock/Design by Daniel Peterschmidt

This story is a part of Science Friday’s coverage on the novel coronavirus, the agent of the disease COVID-19. Listen to experts discuss the spread, outbreak response, and treatment.


Here in the U.S., it feels as if we’ve turned a corner in the COVID-19 pandemic. Most of the population can be vaccinated, and restrictions for masks and distancing are loosening. But we won’t be able to get a handle on the pandemic until the rest of the world has access to a vaccine. If you thought distributing shots to rural areas here in the U.S. was hard, imagine distributing them to every corner of the globe.

President Joe Biden this week pledged to send an additional 20 million vaccine doses abroad, bringing the total promised to 80 million. But the U.S. is hardly the only country that plans to share doses. So where does the world vaccination effort stand?

One international effort, led by organizations including the World Health Organization and UNICEF, is called COVAX, or COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access. Joining Ira to discuss this effort is implementation team member Dr. Bruce Aylward, senior advisor to the Director-General at the World Health Organization. Ira also speaks to medical supply chain expert Prashant Yadav, senior fellow at the Center for Global Development and professor at the INSEAD Business School, based in Washington, D.C.


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Segment Guests

Bruce Aylward

Bruce Aylward is a senior advisor to the Director-General of the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland.

Prashant Yadav

Segment Transcript

The transcript for this segment is being processed. It will be posted within one week after the episode airs.

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About Kathleen Davis

Kathleen Davis is a producer at Science Friday, which means she spends the week brainstorming, researching, and writing, typically in that order. She’s a big fan of stories related to strange animal facts and dystopian technology.

About Ira Flatow

Ira Flatow is the host and executive producer of Science FridayHis green thumb has revived many an office plant at death’s door.

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