Science and need—not wealth or nationality—should guide vaccine allocation and prioritization

Ensuring COVID-19 vaccine access for refugee and displaced populations, and addressing health inequities, is vital for an effective pandemic response. Yet, vaccine allocation and distribution has been neither equitable nor inclusive, despite that global leaders have stressed this as a critical aspect to globally overcoming the pandemic, according to a paper published by Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. Read “Leave No-one Behind: Ensuring Access to COVID-19 vaccines for Refugee and Displaced Populations” in the journal Nature Medicine.

As of April 1st, high and upper-middle-income countries received 86 percent of the vaccine doses delivered worldwide, while only 0.1 percent of doses have been delivered in low-income countries. Worldwide, over 80 percent of refugees and nearly all internally displaced persons are hosted by low and middle-income countries—nations at the end of the line for COVID-19 vaccine doses.

“As the world grapples with supply challenges and inequitable vaccine access on local and global scales, marginalized groups, particularly refugees, internally displaced persons and stateless persons, face a double burden of access, even within countries that are themselves marginalized on the global stage,” said Monette Zard, MA, Allan Rosenfield Associate Professor of Forced Migration & Health…

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