Ensuring the global COVID-19 vaccine equity: Universal vaccine access strategy in the context of low and-middle-income countries

Glob Public Health. 2022 Apr;17(4):614-621. doi: 10.1080/17441692.2022.2029928. Epub 2022 Jan 20.


ABSTRACTLockdowns and other COVID-19 containment measures enforced to kerb the pandemic have had a massive impact on the overall growth of the world. Income-generating activities have been reduced, but the impact is more consequential among the low- and middle-income countries. The disproportionate access to vaccines between wealthy and poor countries has resulted in 'vaccine apartheid.' An 'every-country-for-itself' approach or 'vaccine nationalism' coupled with 'vaccine hesitancy' has contributed to disproportionate access to and uptake of the COVID-19 vaccines. This paper argues that it is time for the decision-makers to adopt a Universal Vaccine Access Strategy (UVAS). The authors argue that sharing resources by establishing local production of vaccines wherever possible, timely donation of unused COVID-19 vaccines to developing countries and addressing vaccine hesitancy have become imperative to interrupt the emergence of new variants.

Keywords: COVID-19; COVID-19 vaccine; low and-middle-income countries; universal vaccine access strategy; vaccine equity.

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19 Vaccines
  • COVID-19* / epidemiology
  • COVID-19* / prevention & control
  • Developing Countries
  • Humans
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Vaccines*


  • COVID-19 Vaccines
  • Vaccines