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Global 70% COVID-19 Vaccine Target Has Just Been Missed – Time for a Rethink?


  • Maria Elena Bottazzi, Associate Dean, National School of Tropical Medicine; Professor, Pediatrics and Molecular Virology & Microbiology, Baylor College of Medicine 
  • Justice Nonvignon, Head of Health Economics Programme, Africa Centers for Disease Control
  • Pete Baker, Policy Fellow & Assistant Director, Center for Global Development
  • Karin Bok, Director of Pandemic Preparedness and Emergency Response, NIAID Vaccine Research Center


  • Javier Guzman, Director, Global Health Policy Program and Senior Policy Fellow

In June 2021, Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organisation (WHO) offered a challenge to the world, at a speech to the G7 summit: “To truly end the pandemic, our goal must be to vaccinate at least 70% of the world’s population by the time you meet again in Germany next year”. The goal was adopted by WHO and many other countries and global health institutions, providing clarity, equality, and ambition. As we approach this year’s G7 summit on 26-28th June, the 70% target has been missed in most countries and almost all African countries and, on average, only 15.9% of people in low-income countries have received one dose. 

Should global leaders recommit to the 70% coverage goal? Our answer, outlined in a blog here is a resounding no. The virus has changed, immunity through infection has increased, and the cost to achieve 70% coverage is hard to justify compared to investments in other elements of the COVID-19 response or in other essential health services. 

Join us and our esteemed panelists for a discussion on whether the global 70% COVID-19 vaccine coverage is still the right goal, and what might replace it.

If you have questions for our panelists, please submit your comments via YouTube.

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