HIT ME WITH YOUR BEST SHOT: GLOBAL COVID-19 VACCINE INEQUITY AND THE RISE IN VARIANTS
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis analysis reviews the existing literature regarding COVID-19 vaccines, the social determinants of vaccine access and equity, the impact of misinformation, and investigating potential solutions to address barriers. The COVID-19 pandemic is one of the most significant events to occur in the modern age of technology. As COVID-19 vaccines became available to the public, inequitable vaccine distribution became increasingly worrisome in preventing the spread of new viral variants. The evolution of new variants further dampens a global effort to move past the pandemic phase. Factors that contributed to unequal distribution include vaccine hoarding by higher income countries and the spread of misinformation on social media platforms. These factors have resulted in vaccine hesitancy and lack of access to COVID-19 vaccines. Community herd immunity becomes harder and more difficult to achieve. By the time herd immunity was close to being achieved, new viral variants began emerging from unvaccinated communities. While higher income communities had received COVID-19 vaccines, most of the lower-income countries had only received a fraction of doses. This led to the uncontrolled spread of new variants of concern (VOC) in lower-income communities and posed a great threat to global health as a whole. All these factors further compromise a global effort to eradicate infections and disease caused by SARS-CoV-2.
Degree ProgramPhysiology and Medical Sciences