The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted how much work remains to be done to address global inequities in accessing health technologies such as vaccines, treatments and diagnostic tests.
This paper builds on our equitable access report from 2020 by returning to some of the key access challenges we outlined previously, reflecting on how they have been addressed during the pandemic, and highlighting areas where more action is needed.
The global response to Covid-19 has resulted in impressive achievements: thanks to huge national and international efforts, tools to prevent, test and treat Covid-19 were developed less than a year into the pandemic. Yet, it has also highlighted painful realities: demand for vaccines continues to outweigh supply, and access has been slow in the majority of countries.
The challenges of the current pandemic are not yet over, but Covid-19 has already raised important questions about the systems we have in place to deliver access and the changes we need to make in future. As a funder of R&D, Wellcome is particularly interested in the role that those supporting and undertaking R&D can play in this.