GSL Research Fellow Publishes Op-ed on Global COVID Vaccine Inequality in Open Canada

Habibi and Lexchin in Open Canada: The COVID-19 Vaccination Race: Why Wealthy Countries Like Canada must do more to help poorer ones get across the finish line

On March 9, GSL Research Fellow Roojin Habibi and York University Professor Joel Lexchin published an Op-ed on the progressing COVID-19 vaccine inequality around the globe in Open Canada.

In the piece, Habibi and Lexchin explain that countries representing less than 20 percent of the world’s population have secured 60 percent of the world’s vaccine supply with Canada having purchased the most doses per capita.

The COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access Facility (COVAX) is the international mechanism intended to facilitate, among other things, the distribution of doses to countries that lack supply. It was founded to build a strong and unified pool of funds that would diversify the portfolio of vaccine candidates available to all COVAX members and ultimately help fund and distribute vaccines to at least 20 percent of the population in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). According to the authors, however, this noble plan soon collapsed when countries of means started cutting in front of the line and outbidding COVAX for doses.

Habibi and Lexchin argue that the COVID-19 race is against time and not a competition who gets their country inoculated first. If the pharmaceutical companies would waive intellectual property rights, LMICs would be able to catch up with the Global North and future potentially dangerous mutations and variations of the virus might be kept at bay.

Read the full article here.


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