October update: The race for an equitable COVID-19 vaccine

The world is racing to find safe and effective vaccines against COVID-19, and world leaders are making deals for promising COVID-19 vaccine candidates and speaking about the need for vaccine equity. As this happens, we want them to know that we’re watching. That’s why in September, ONE launched the Vaccine Access Test.

The Test provides the framework to answer one question: Are the actions taken by world leaders and players moving us closer to or further from an equitable outcome for the COVID-19 pandemic? We measure this by assessing deals for vaccine candidates and actors on equity leadership. Each assessment is based on a variety of metrics: financial support for the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A), multilateral leadership, policies, and deals.

Since its September launch, there have been a number of updates. Here are the latest findings as of October 2020.

How scores have changed this month

Since the launch of the Vaccine Access Test, the following scores have changed as of October:

  • AstraZeneca has moved to the top spot of the Test.
  • Johnson & Johnson’s score has increased by 2.7 points.
  • The European Union’s score has increased by 1.7 points.
  • Australia’s score has decreased by 0.5 points.
  • Argentina, China, and Korea have all received 1 point each.
  • Four new deals were scored including: CSL Limited and Australia, the EU and Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer-BioNTech and New Zealand, and Canada and Medicago.

Find a summary of the Vaccine Access Test scores here.

Here’s a look at all the current scores

The latest findings

Over the past month, the Test has also deduced a number of findings regarding vaccine equity, including:

  • Bilateral deals might be the biggest hindrance to equitable vaccine access. A small group of wealthy countries have purchased over half of the expected supply of leading vaccine candidates through bilateral deals. Of the 34 deals made to date, 23 allowed countries involved to stockpile unnecessary volumes of vaccines and 27 did not provide sufficient transparency for us to score this metric. The same principles applied in multilateral agreements should be applied to bilateral ones, otherwise bilateral deals will become the biggest obstacle in achieving equitable vaccine access.
  • Multilateral leadership is separating the leaders from the laggards. A clear difference between countries and players that are advancing equity and those lagging behind is willingness to work across borders.
  • Some pharmaceutical companies are stepping up to the challenge on access, such as AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson.

Dive deeper into this month’s findings here.

Sign the petition

Demand a Global Response to Coronavirus

Demand a Global Response to Coronavirus

People all over the world are standing in solidarity with each other to fight coronavirus, but the virus keeps moving fast.

The pandemic will inevitably wreak its worst on the communities and countries that are least able to withstand the shock. Let’s stand with the most vulnerable whether they live across the street or across the ocean.

We are one world and it’s time to fight for humanity against the virus. Sign our petition telling governments that a global pandemic demands a global response.

Dear World Leaders,

The world needs a Pandemic Response Plan to:


  • Protect the vulnerable, support essential workers, and make a vaccine available to everyone

  • Support people worst hit economically

  • Strengthen health systems so we’re ready if this happens again

Sign the petition

By signing you agree to ONE’s privacy policy, including to the transfer of your information to ONE’s servers in the United States.

Do you want to stay informed about how you can help fight against extreme poverty?

Sign up to receive emails from ONE and join millions of people around the world taking action to end extreme poverty and preventable disease. We’ll only ever ask for your voice, not your money. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Privacy options
Are you sure? If you select 'Yes' we can let you know how you can make a difference. You can unsubscribe at any time.

By signing you agree to ONE's privacy policy, including to the transfer of your information to ONE.org's servers in the United States.

You agree to receive occasional updates about ONE's campaigns. You can unsubscribe at any time.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply

Related Articles