In just a week, both Moderna and Pfizer have announced that they have developed effective vaccines against COVID-19 -- but how long will it be before everyone has access to them? According to Nicole Hassoun, professor of philosophy at Binghamton University, State University of New York, buying, storing, shipping and administering these vaccines to the world population will be a difficult and expensive endeavor, especially for third-world nations.
"An estimated 3 billion people in low-income countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America are likely to lack access to a COVID-19 vaccine for years after it becomes available," said Hassoun. "In poor nations, many communities lack the health care workers needed to administer vaccines, as well as the capacity to handle vaccines properly by keeping them extremely cold."
Hassoun points to several international organizations that are working to make sure that those in low-income counties have access to COVID-19 vaccines. For example, the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access Facility, or COVAX, has raised about US$1.8 billion toward an initial target of $2 billion to cover the cost of manufacturing and distributing COVID-19 vaccines around the world.