A recent study has delved into the association between Gross National Income (GNI) per capita and COVID-19 vaccination coverage among World Health Organization (WHO) member countries and regions. The research, which analyzed data from both WHO and the World Bank, unearthed alarming disparities in vaccination rates based on economic status.
Vaccination Disparities Based on Economic Status
Findings from the study revealed that countries with a lower GNI per capita exhibited significantly lower vaccination coverage. Specifically, WHO member nations with a low GNI per capita had a reduced likelihood of achieving full vaccination status and of receiving a minimum of one vaccine dose compared to those nations with a high GNI per capita.
Regional Vaccination Coverage
The study also explored vaccination coverage from a regional perspective. It found that the Africa region lagged behind in vaccination coverage compared to the Europe region. Conversely, the Western Pacific region reported a higher coverage than Europe.
The Need for Enhanced Vaccination Efforts
The findings from the study underscore the urgent need to ramp up vaccination efforts in lower-income countries and regions such as Africa to achieve better control of the pandemic. The study also shines a spotlight on the various factors influencing vaccination uptake, including vaccine hesitancy, illiteracy, poverty, lack of political will, and vaccine type availability.
Global Vaccination Rates Still Suboptimal
Despite global initiatives like the COVAX effort to promote vaccine equity, the study revealed that global vaccination rates remain suboptimal. The research points out the critical role of income in predicting vaccine coverage and underscores the necessity for targeted strategies to improve vaccination rates in low-income areas.