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COVID-19 vaccine programmes are expected to cost poorer countries an additional 56.6% on health budgets, compared with just 0.8% on wealthy countries’ health expenditure, according to new data from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the University of Oxford.

Vaccine being administrered

According to the research, inequity will have a 'lasting and profound impact' on socio-economic recovery in low and lower-middle income countries unless there is urgent action to make vaccines affordable and accessible to everyone.

With the current cost of vaccines calculated at an average US$15.80, and without immediate global financial support, low-income countries are forecast to see health costs soar by more than half, to vaccinate fully a target of 70% of their populations. But high-income countries would have to increase spending by just 0.8 percent to achieve the same results. This would account for half of low-income countries' projected GDP growth in 2021, against 0.2% for high-income countries.

These insights come from the Global Dashboard on Vaccine Equity , a joint initiative from UNDP, WHO and Oxford’s Blavatnik School of Government, which combines the latest COVID-19 vaccination information with the most recent socio-economic data. It illustrates why vaccine equity is not only critical to saving lives but also to driving a fairer and faster recovery from the pandemic.

Read the full story on the University of Oxford website.

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