02/26/2021

The Global COVID-19 Supply Problem

16:16 minutes

pattern of vaccine bottles against covid-19 with injection fluid. Coronavirus vaccine on Blue background
Credit: Shutterstock

This story is 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.


Of the more than 200 million COVID-19 vaccines that have made it to patients’ arms this winter, more than a quarter have gone to people in the United States—a country with 4 percent of the total world population. Just last week, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that 75% of the world’s vaccinations so far had been in just 10 countries—while 130 countries had not received a single dose.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, the nation of Ghana was the first to receive vaccines—600,000 doses—shipped as part of COVAX, a multi-national program which aims to provide as many as two billion free vaccines to poor and middle-income countries by the end of the year.

Ira talks to Yale global health expert Saad Omer about the international effort to move vaccines equitably around the world, and the remaining hurdles for poorer countries.


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Segment Guests

Saad Omer

Saad Omer is a professor of Global Health, Policy and Pediatrics at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.

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