Early on in the pandemic, global health experts envisioned a nightmare scenario: Covid-19 vaccines are created, but they go almost exclusively to rich countries that can afford to buy them. People in poorer countries are left to get sick and die.
To prevent this, the experts set up an international initiative called Covax, designed to make sure every country in the world gets access to vaccines regardless of its ability to pay. In the fall of 2020, Covax set a clear goal: Buy 2 billion doses and make them available to nations in need before the end of 2021.
But we’re now nearly five months into the year, and Covax has delivered just over 68 million doses. In other words, it’s only 3.4 percent of the way to its goal.
The nightmare has become reality. Around 1.5 billion vaccine doses have been administered around the world — yet only 0.3 percent have gone to low-income countries. And in places like India and Brazil, thousands of unvaccinated people are dying every day of Covid-19, even as many Americans revel in their vaccinated status.