The global covid-19 vaccine distribution effort, which is led by Covax, has been hampered by logistical setbacks and wealthier countries’ resistance to share vaccines. Although leaders including US president Joe Biden have spoken publicly about the need for vaccine equity, as of October, high-income countries had only met 14% of their global vaccine pledges.

Wealthier countries have now imposed bans on travelers from southern Africa in response to omicron, which was first identified in the region. Francois Venter, a researcher at University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, told the New York Times it wasn’t surprising to see new variants emerge in Africa given the continent’s continued lack of vaccine access. “It feels like these rich countries have learned absolutely nothing in terms of support,” he said.

OECD sees vaccine distribution as barrier to economic recovery

The OECD said it expects global inflation to remain higher for longer than previous projections had indicated, peaking at 5% by the end of this year before falling to around 3.5% by the end of next year. The global economic recovery remains increasingly uneven, the agency said, warning that lower-income countries where vaccination rates are low could be left behind. And if vaccine inequity persists, Boone said in a news conference today, inflation levels could remain high for a longer period of time, with consequences for the entire global economy.

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