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As of March 30, 86% of the shots that have gone into arms worldwide have been administered to people in high-income and upper-middle-income countries, according to UNICEF data analyzed by The New York Times. Just 0.1% of doses were given out in low-income countries as of that date. In India, a country where the coronavirus is currently ravaging the population, only 10% have received a single dose.
To get the pandemic under control ? a universal goal, to be sure ? a growing number of voices in public health and global politics are demanding greater consideration of vaccine equity.
One proposal making the rounds would temporarily remove intellectual property barriers to producing vaccines and coronavirus-related treatments. Not surprisingly, it has garnered stiff opposition from pharmaceutical companies and the trade organizations (and politicians) that they fund. Supporters say it is essential to the timely and cost-effective production of drugs needed in every corner of the world.