While India has already given Covid-19 vaccine doses to over 20 lakh people as the first phase of the drive continues, a new study has said that the vaccination program against the pandemic will stretch to late 2022.
Similar will be the scenario for most middle-income countries, including China, said the report by the Economist Intelligence Unit, the research division of the Economist Group.
While vaccination programs currently underway have raised hope of beating the pandemic, unequal distribution of vaccines, along with production issues, has become a major pain point.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday reiterated his call for equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines as the global caseload has surpassed the 100 million mark, another grim milestone as the pandemic rages on.
“Most developing countries will not have widespread access to the shots before 2023 at the earliest,” Agathe Demarais, Director of the Economist Intelligence Unit, said in its study on Wednesday.
“Some of these countries – particularly poorer ones with a young demographic profile – may well lose the motivation to distribute vaccines, especially if the disease has spread widely or if the associated costs prove too high.”
The study showed that more than 85 poor countries will not have widespread access to Covid-19 vaccines before 2023.
The research noted that Russia and China are trying to bolster their global status through vaccine diplomacy.
While the UK, the US, and most countries in the European Union are likely to achieve the goal of vaccinating their priority groups by end of March, other rich countries are expected to achieve the same by end of June.
Therefore, the global economic recovery is expected to gain more momentum from the middle of this year.
However, vaccination programs for most of the population will continue until mid-2022, said the study.