Health Affairs  |  May 9, 2023

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Soon after, or even before, North American and European regulatory agencies issued emergency authorizations for COVID-19 vaccines, high-income governments pre-purchased most of the world’s supply of these lifesaving medical products. The inevitable result was a severe global supply shortage. When COVID-19 began marching across countries and continents, high-income populations had significant rates of vaccine coverage, while much of the rest of the world waited or went without. A similar story could be told for COVID-19 diagnostics and therapeutics, along with oxygen and ventilators.

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