Bell E, Brassel S, Oliver E, Schirrmacher H, Arnetorp S, Berg K, Darroch-Thompson D, Pohja-Hutchison P, Mungall B, Carroll S, Postma M, Steuten L
Vaccines 10 (8) - [2022-08-15; online 2022-08-15]
The objectives of this research were to produce a macro-level overview of the global COVID-19 burden and estimate the value of access to COVID-19 vaccines. A targeted literature review collated evidence of the burden. Linear modelling and data analysis estimated the health and economic effects of COVID-19 vaccines delivered in 2021, and whether additional value could have been achieved with broader and more equitable access. By 1 December 2020, there had been an estimated 17 million excess deaths due to COVID-19. Low-income countries allocated more than 30% of their healthcare budgets to COVID-19, compared to 8% in high-income countries. All country income groups experienced gross domestic product (GDP) growth lower than predicted in 2020. If all 92 countries eligible for COVAX Advance Market Committee (AMC), access had reached 40% vaccination coverage in 2021, 120% more excess deaths would have been averted, equivalent to USD 5 billion (109) in savings to healthcare systems. Every USD spent by advanced economies on vaccinations for less advanced economies averted USD 28 of economic losses in advanced economies and USD 29 in less advanced economies. The cost to high-income countries when not all countries are vaccinated far outweighs the cost of manufacturing and distributing vaccines globally.