Skip Navigation

International Health

December 16, 2020

Nearly a Quarter of the World’s Population Might not Have Access to a COVID-19 Vaccine Until at Least 2022, a New Study Finds


A new study published in The BMJ found that nearly a quarter of the world’s population might not have access to a vaccine until at least 2022. The study was conducted by Anthony So, MD, MPA, professor of the practice in the Department of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Joshua Woo, a research assistant at the Bloomberg School.

The authors analyzed pre-orders for COVID-19 vaccines ahead of their regulatory approval that had been publicly announced by countries around the world. By  November 15, 2020, 7.48 billion doses, or 3.76 billion courses from 13 manufacturers had been reserved. Just over half (51%) of these doses will go to high-income countries, which represent 14% of the world’s population. If these manufacturers were all to scale successfully to their maximum production capacity, up to 40% of their vaccine courses by the end of 2021 might potentially remain for low- and middle-income countries. This will depend, in part, on how high-income countries scale up or share what they have procured, but much greater transparency of these arrangements is needed. Global coordination to ensure access to these vaccines could proceed through the COVAX Facility, but the United States and Russia have so far declined to participate.  

Full and interactive data visualizations can be found here.