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Global perspectives on Covid-19 vaccination - Dealing with scarcity: equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines in Colombia

Diana Guarnizo, Johnattan Garcia Ruiz, and Diana León. 2021. Global perspectives on Covid-19 vaccination - Dealing with scarcity: equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines in Colombia. Brussels: Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung. Publisher's VersionAbstract

The global Covid-19 pandemic has hit the country strongly. As of May 13, Colombia ranks 12th worldwide in absolute positive cases and 10th in mortality. In February 2021, the Colombian government initiated a vaccination programme that brought hope to the people. However, the deployment of such a programme has faced many difficulties, which raises concerns about whether it will be possible to achieve herd immunity by the end of 2021.

This article presents an overview of the vaccination programme in Colombia and some recommendations for international actors to speed up the process and guarantee equitable access to vaccines. The article is divided into two parts. The first one presents an overview of the situation in Colombia and analyses the vaccine programme implementation. This section will also explore the current acceptance of the vaccine and the economic benefits that a successful vaccination programme could bring to the country. The second part will develop some of the expectations with regard to international actors, so as to promote international cooperation regarding access to vaccines. This section will analyse two scenarios: the waiver on intellectual property rights currently discussed in the World Trade Organization, and the COVAX initiative. We will argue that both forms of cooperation are complementary and that international actors, notably high-income countries, should support both strategies.

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