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COVID-19 VACCINES AND CORRUPTION RISKS: PREVENTING CORRUPTION IN THE ALLOCATION AND DISTRIBUTION OF VACCINES

With a fast-moving pandemic, no one is safe, unless everyone is safe Covid-19 Vaccine Transparency matters.

The global pandemic has already caused the loss of hundreds of thousands of lives and disrupted the lives of billions more. As well as reducing the tragic loss of life and helping to get the pandemic under control, the introduction of a vaccine will prevent the loss of US$ 375 billion to the global economy every month. Global equitable access to a vaccine, particularly protecting health care workers and those most-at-risk is the only way to mitigate the public health and economic impact of the pandemic.

Are there National Deployment and Vaccination Plan for COVID 19 Vaccines?

Does some countries has COVID-19 Vaccine National Coordinating Committee?

Do poor and developing countries utilize the free global equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines in a suitable Manner?

With COVID-19 vaccines being approved for use in different parts of the globe, the scale and complexity of their manufacture, allocation, and distribution globally will be unprecedented. This will also present corruption risks that may threaten vital public health goals. These risks include the entry of substandard and falsified vaccines into markets, theft of vaccines within the distribution systems, leakages in emergency funding designated for the development and distribution of vaccines, nepotism, favoritism, and corrupted procurement systems. These corruption risks must be identified and mitigated by public institutions to help advance access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines by the population, including the most vulnerable and marginalized groups.

The United Nations Convention against Corruption provides a solid global framework for these efforts

BACKGROUND

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak of a new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) a pandemic on 11 March 2020.

Since then, the pandemic continues to rage, and morbidity and mortality rates continue to climb globally. This illuminates the urgency of developing and ensuring access to affordable, safe, and efficacious vaccines, and their rapid and fair deployment. The positive results announced by a number of vaccine candidates in

November 2020 have led to vaccines being approved at record speed in different parts of the world. A critical response will be required by governments to ensure access of their populations to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines. Many governments have indicated that they aim to set up COVID-19 vaccine programmes that will cover their entire populations. The scale and complexity of the allocation, distribution and prioritization of the vaccines will therefore be unprecedented.

CORRUPTION RISKS

Vaccine deployment and weak or non-existent distribution systems.

The successful implementation of COVID-19 vaccination programmes will require robust supply systems. Such systems will need to ensure effective vaccine storage, handling, and stock management; rigorous temperature controls in the supply chain; and the maintenance of adequate logistics management information systems. This is vital to safeguard the COVID-19 vaccine supply and prevent any interruptions from the point of manufacturing through to service delivery.

There are corruption risks throughout the entire vaccine deployment process. As an example, vaccines may be stolen from the public supply chain during the transportation process and diverted to the black market or kept for personal use. Vaccine supplies are also at risk once they reach the hospital or public health facility administering the vaccinations if there are no reliable oversight measures in place. Public health facility staff may also steal vaccines for resale in the black market or in their own private practices. This risk is particularly pronounced when supplies are limited, and demand is high, as is the case during a pandemic.

Limited vaccine supplies may also incentivize those who have the financial resources to bribe health professionals to secure a vaccine for themselves and/or their families. Some health professionals may also demand payoffs from patients to access COVID-19 vaccines, a practice that will be particularly harmful to poor, marginalized, and vulnerable groups

Covid-19 Vaccine Transparency matters.

Citations:

COVID-19 VACCINES AND CORRUPTION RISKS: PREVENTING CORRUPTION IN THE MANUFACTURE,
ALLOCATION AND DISTRIBUTION OF VACCINES

COVID-19 VACCINE TRANSPARENCY

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr. Essa Abdi Djam. MD, Masters in Global health and pursuing a diploma in tropical medicine. He has extensive experience working in a disrupted health system, Communicable diseases, Nutrition, Covid-19 emergency responses, and HIV and Tuberculosis burden countries in Africa, the middle east, central Asia, and the southern pacific. Currently working in the Middle East as a senior medical officer of humanitarian responses.  Dr. Essa is currently based in Jordan. He can be reached on his Professional LinkedIn account and dressajama@gmail.com 

Disclaimer: The viewpoints expressed by the authors do not necessarily reflect the opinions, viewpoints of the Somaliland Chronicle, and its staff. 

Creative Commons License

Notice: This is an article by Somaliland Chronicle and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. Under this license, all reprints and non-commercial distribution of this work is permitted.

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