Estimating the effect of cooperative versus uncooperative strategies of COVID-19 vaccine allocation: a modeling study
We use a global metapopulation transmission model to study the effect of different COVID-19 vaccine allocation strategies across countries of the world. In the two scenarios considered, 3 billion doses are distributed worldwide. In the uncooperative allocation scenario, the first 2 billion doses are co-opted by a list of high-income countries, while the third billion is distributed equally around the world. In the cooperative allocation scenario, all the 3 billion doses are distributed to all countries proportionally to their population. To avoid uncontrolled assumptions and unknowns about the future course of the COVID-19 pandemic, we consider a counterfactual scenario analyzing what would have happened if the vaccine had been available on March 16th, 2020. The model considers a single dose vaccine that is effective two weeks after administration. We find that the cooperative and uncooperative strategy would have averted 61% and 33% of the deaths globally through September 1st, 2020, respectively, when the vaccine is 80% effective, and 57% and 30% deaths when the vaccine is 65% effective.