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June 2021: Calls for global access to COVID-19 vaccines increase as nations continue to struggle with coronavirus

The Brief

June 14, 2021

It has been nearly a year and a half since the global pandemic began and Johns Hopkins SAIS experts are examining obstacles some countries are experiencing due to COVID-19 and the conversation surrounding global vaccine access.
 
Jennifer Kates and Joshua Michaud, Adjunct Lecturers of International Development, noted how access to vaccines globally across regions and income groups is still very unequal in a Kaiser Family Foundation brief, but they emphasized that "donated doses can help speed global vaccinations, provided the doses are distributed efficiently and administered effectively in the countries that need them." 
 
Benjamin Gedan, Adjunct Lecturer of Latin American Studies, commented on Latin American countries taking advantage of the U.S.-China competition in vaccine diplomacy to inoculate their populations in Business Insider, explaining that "efforts by leaders in the region to get vaccines reflect their desperation to stanch the pandemic more so than ideological leanings." 
 
Devesh Kapur, Director of SAIS Asia Programs, wrote about members of the Indian Diaspora in the U.S. assisting India while it is in the midst of a second wave of coronavirus in Foreign Policy, noting this group’s involvement "through financial and material support, and indirectly, by lobbying U.S. businesses and Washington to do more." 
 
Pavithra Suryanarayan, Assistant Professor of International Political Economy, discussed India being overwhelmed by a second COVID surge with the BBC, calling for a "coordinated global approach" to assist the country in light of its under-resourced healthcare system. 
 
Arthur Appleton, Adjunct Professor of International Law, analyzed the ongoing World Trade Organization (WTO) discussions prompted by Indian and South African delegations on removing intellectual property protections in order to increase production of and global access to COVID-19 vaccines on BBC’s World Business Report, telling the program he would be "surprised if the [proposed TRIPS] waiver is successful in the short term because resistance from the EU and other vaccine manufactures is fairly significant." (2:15-6:28)

The Brief highlights Johns Hopkins SAIS expertise on current events and is produced monthly by the Office of Marketing, Communications and Community Engagement.