Special Issue "Vaccine Equity as a Right to Health: How Can Advanced Technologies Address Global Inequalities in Vaccine Access, Efficacy, and Capacity Post-COVID?"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2023 | Viewed by 164
Interests: public health; health technologies; mental health; health equity; medical ethics
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Vaccine inequalities are detrimental to global health and social security. In one modelling study that covers over 150 countries, the results show that, if COVID-19 vaccines were sufficiently available to people, especially those living in low- and middle-income countries, approximately 295.8 million infections and 1.3 million deaths could have been prevented between 2020 and 2021 (Moore, Hill, Dyson, Tildesley, & Keeling, 2022). Albeit disheartening, the issue of vaccine inequality has been present throughout the pandemic. In the early days of the pandemic, for instance, similar to many developed countries, Canada hoarded too many COVID-19 vaccines to the extent that the country has enough doses to vaccinate its entire population five times over (Su et al., 2021). In a similar vein, preliminary analyses suggest that, between December 2020 and June 2022, at least 82 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have already been wasted and thrown away in the United States alone (Eaton, 2022), which is but one of the many countries that hoarded COVID-19 vaccines in a time of grave global need.
As the pandemic is still evolving, it is unclear what might be the true scale and scope of vaccine waste across the world; or to what degree vaccine hoarding might have accelerated the spread and mutation of SARS-CoV-2 across the globe. What is clear, though, is that timely and effective solutions are needed to ensure global vaccine equity, particularly in challenging times like COVID-19. Fortunately, not all hope is lost: effective and efficient solutions that can be developed with the help of advanced technologies may hold the key to alleviating global inequalities in vaccine access, efficacy, and capacity post-COVID. For instance, by making vaccines equally, if not more, efficacious, yet with substantially lower maintenance requirements in terms of storage, transportation, and administration, such as spray-based vaccines that can be stored at room temperature and self-administered with limited to no assistance from healthcare professionals (Waltz, 2022), may help society better deliver and deploy vaccines during grave global scarcity of medical resources, especially in places with poorly developed health systems.
In the same vein, cost-effective awareness interventions, such as social media campaigns, could also help countries better address critical issues such as vaccine hesitancy, misinformation, or disinformation on a population level. To this end, this Special Issue aims to identify ways in which technologies, including but not limited to advanced tools and techniques such as artificial intelligence and big data analytics, could help address global inequalities in vaccine access, efficacy, and capacity, and in turn, better ensure vaccine equity—a fundamental right to health— post-COVID on a global level. We welcome all relevant submissions that fall under the scope of this Special Issue, particularly those that focus on consequential yet relatively ill-studied topics, such as:
- What are the effects and characteristics of technological solutions that could contribute to global vaccine equity and social security?
- What are the use and abuse of technology that impacted vaccine equity amid COVID-19?
- How should society balance vaccine ethics, vaccine equity, and vaccine advancement in a time of grave social unrest and technological disruptions?
- What are the promise and potential of technologies in addressing global vaccine disparities in the long run?
All admissible types of manuscripts are welcome in this Special Issue, and we very much look forward to receiving your contributions.
Eaton, J. (2022). The U.S. has wasted over 82 million Covid vaccine doses. Retrieved from https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/covid-vaccine-doses-wasted-rcna31399
Moore, S., Hill, E. M., Dyson, L., Tildesley, M. J., & Keeling, M. J. (2022). Retrospectively modeling the effects of increased global vaccine sharing on the COVID-19 pandemic. Nature Medicine. doi:10.1038/s41591-022-02064-y
Su, Z., McDonnell, D., Li, X., Bennett, B., Šegalo, S., Abbas, J., . . . Xiang, Y.-T. (2021). COVID-19 vaccine donations—vaccine empathy or vaccine diplomacy? A narrative literature review. Vaccines, 9(9). doi:10.3390/vaccines9091024
Waltz, E. (2022). China and India approve nasal COVID vaccines - are they a game changer? Nature, 609(7927), 450. doi:10.1038/d41586-022-02851-0
Prof. Dr. Zhaohui Su
Manuscript Submission Information
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- vaccine equity
- vaccine ethics
- right to health
- health technologies
- artificial intelligence
- health policy
- medical ethics
- health equity
- social security