Rory Horner » Senior Lecturer, Global Development Institute, University of Manchester

Rory Horner has received funding from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Regional Studies Association (RSA), the British Academy and the National Science Foundation to support his research on India’s pharmaceutical industry. He is also a senior research associate in the Department of Geography, Environmental Management and Energy Studies at the University of Johannesburg.

The latest supply forecast for Covax – the programme for sharing COVID-19 vaccines around the world – suggests that accelerating vaccination in low-income countries looks unlikely. Covax estimates it will have distributed 1.425 billion vaccine doses by the end of 2021, significantly less than the 2 billion doses it was aiming for earlier this year.

Only 280.5 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been given out through Covax as of September 15 2021. With some high-income countries rolling out boosters and vaccinating children before many low-income countries have even given their adults a first dose, vaccine inequality is showing no sign of disappearing.

That Covax has fallen short on its initial forecast for 2021 is not a surprise. The CEO of the Serum Institute of India, originally the largest intended supplier to the initiative, cast doubt on the 2 billion figure soon after its release, suggesting that reaching this milestone would take an additional six months.

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