When will COVID-19 vaccines
be widely available globally?
By Victoria Milko
The Associated Press
May 19, 2021
WASHINGTON (AP) When will COVID-19 vaccines be widely
Experts say it could be 2023 or later before the shots are
widely available in some countries.
The United States, Israel, and the United Kingdom are among
the nations where about half or more of the population has
received at least one shot. In some countries, including South
Africa, Pakistan, and Venezuela, less than 1% of people have
been vaccinated. In nearly a dozen countries mostly in Africa
there have been no jabs at all.
The differences reflect a mix of factors including purchasing
power, domestic production capacity, access to raw materials,
and global intellectual property laws.
The U.S. has supported waiving intellectual property
protection for the vaccines. But its not clear whether there
will be global agreement on the issue and, if so, whether that
would help speed up production.
COVAX, a U.N.-backed project to ensure vaccine access
globally, has run drastically behind schedule due in part to
export bans and stockpiling by some countries.
In April, researchers at Duke University said that, even with
assistance from COVAX, many countries would not be able to reach
60% coverage until 2023 or later.
"The U.S., European, and other wealthy nations long ago
pre-ordered nearly all the doses available and now other
countries, even with the money to buy, are at the back of line
waiting," said Matthew Kavanagh, a global health policy expert
at Georgetown University.
China, Russia, and the U.S. are among countries that have
committed to donating vaccines to other nations, but global
scarcity is expected to continue for years to come.
"There is simply not enough vaccine to go around," Kavanagh