Transparency and Equity in the COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout
Delivering the COVID-19 vaccine is the most pressing challenge of our time.
As the global effort to vaccinate against COVID-19 gets underway, we are working so that those who need vaccines first, get them.
With support from the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the TI Global Health Programme is working with TI chapters and partners in Bangladesh, Uganda and Zambia to ensure that vaccines are rolled out in a transparent and equitable manner.
We’re working to ensure that:
1) Corruption risks in vaccine delivery chains are identified, and safeguards put in place to prevent diversion, theft, misappropriation, or entry of falsified vaccines.
- We are working to conduct corruption vulnerability assessment of vaccine supply chain, and delivery mechanisms.
- TI chapters are assessing national rollout plans for potential equity implications, ensuring that plans are equitable, and potentially marginalised groups are not excluded from accessing the vaccine.
2) National distribution plans are transparent and equitable
- We will compare our analyses with national distribution plans, and look for gaps in distribution plans. Where information is opaque, or plans are not shared we will advocate for greater transparency- to ensure that the public are aware of when they can get the vaccine and how.
3) Delivery of vaccines is conducted in a transparent and equitable manner.
- We will work closely with governments and ensure corruption prevention and reporting measures are operational prior to vaccine delivery. Such measures include vaccine distribution tracking systems, enabling CSOs to monitor whether national distribution frameworks are being adhered to. Once vaccine distribution commences, CSOs will use data to track distribution, and will verify information in the system with reports from communities, patients’ rights groups and health centres. This will allow for stock outs and other issues to be quickly highlighted.
- We will run public awareness campaigns ensuring communities are aware of their rights, and of when and where they should receive vaccines. If deemed necessary TI chapters will introduce corruption reporting mechanisms, such as corruption hotlines, or SMS toll-free numbers to report cases of suspected corruption. Chapters will collate incidences of corruption, report them to the relevant authorities, and use them to inform the global tracking system. We will build upon, and – where needed – introduce new social accountability mechanisms to track receipt of vaccines and flag issues of discrimination, or soliciting of informal payments.
Corruption has been a recurrent feature throughout the pandemic in many countries. With so much progress having been made over the last year, it is vital that corruption does not derail the global rollout. Globally we are working to reports of corruption, and inequity in national rollouts worldwide. We will use this information to work with key global health players, and ensure that adequate corruption mitigation strategies are implemented both at the global and national levels.