In much of the developed world, vaccine orders are soaring into the billions of doses, coronavirus cases are easing and economies are poised to roar back to life. In many less developed nations, though, the virus is raging on, while vaccinations are far too slow to protect even the most vulnerable.
The stuttering global rollout is having calamitous consequences. Unvaccinated nations are being walloped by the virus. New variants could emerge in reservoirs of untamed infections, prolonging the pandemic for rich and poor nations alike. The global economy stands to suffer trillions of dollars in losses.
Western nations have promised vaccines to the developing world. But these “donations” are a drop in the bucket, and have in some cases been haphazardly planned.
And even as richer nations inoculate their own citizens, they might start saving vaccine-making capacity for booster shots to deploy against new variants, another blow to countries bereft of manufacturing bases.