Vaccines have played a large role in the global COVID-19 response and saved numerous lives. However, when highly transmissible variants such as Omicron (BA.1) appeared and quickly dominated the reported cases, the effectiveness of vaccinations was noticeably waning.
COVID-19 vaccines across the world have been produced and authorized for use with record speed. So far, 13 vaccines have received either limited or full regulatory approval. It’s important to note that the safety of the vaccines is continuously monitored even after limited and full regulatory approvals are granted.
The global imbalance in Covid-19 vaccines is often framed in terms of wealthy versus poor countries. While it can be summed that way (wealthy countries do have the majority of doses, while low-income countries have almost none), this overlooks the experience of upper-middle income countries (UMICs), such as Brazil, Indonesia, and China.
We have seen a lot of movement in regulatory approval of Covid-19 vaccines over the past two weeks,
as vaccination campaigns begin to roll out. When tracking the Covid-19 vaccine landscape, it is
important to keep in mind the difference between emergency use authorization and full authorization.
Most Covid-19 vaccine approvals received thus far have been limited to emergency use.