The International Monetary Fund has just cut its growth forecast for the world economy, citing COVID-19 vaccine inequity between wealthy and poorer nations as the biggest brake on the global recovery.
It also warned that the world economy could suffer a cumulative $5.3tn loss over the next five years unless vaccine coverage gaps are closed.
Despite the clear health, economic and moral imperatives to vaccinate the world quickly and equitably, multilateral action to date has been inadequate. In particular, at the G7 Summit in June wealthy nations made only modest commitments to redistribute vaccines and the recent vaccine summit held before the United Nations General Assembly did little more than agree targets to scale up coverage over the next year.
So now attention is switching to the G20 Summit in Italy at the end of October. Will this be the forum to agree a global strategy to achieve universal COVID-19 vaccine coverage in 2022?
Our panel of leading figures in global health discuss in particular the priority to close gaping inequalities that continue to threaten global health security and economic recovery.
Speaker: Dr Ayoade (Yodi) Olatunbosun-Alakija, Co-Chair of the African Union, African Vaccine Delivery Alliance and Founder of the Emergency Coordination Centre, Nigeria (ECC)
Speaker: Dr Bruce Aylward, Senior Advisor to the Director-General, Organizational Change, WHO
Speaker: Gayle Smith, Coordinator for Global COVID Response and Health Security at the Department of State
Respondent: The Rt Hon Gordon Brown, WHO Ambassador for Global Health Financing; Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (2007-10)
Chair: Robert Yates, Director, Global Health Programme; Executive Director, Centre for Universal Health