Vials of the Russian Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine in Gaza City on March 25, 2021 (Photo by MOHAMMED ABED/AFP via Getty Images)

7/22 Virtual Event | COVID-19 Vaccine Access in MENA

As many Western countries begin to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, the virus continues to infect thousands every day throughout the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), particularly among the region’s most vulnerable populations. Though vaccines have offered hope for a way out of the crisis, rollouts in most countries in the region have been slow, inefficient, and inequitable. How have governments distributed vaccines in MENA, and how have corruption, nepotism, and structural inadequacies impacted distribution? How have marginalized and disenfranchised communities, as well as populations in conflict zones, borne the brunt of this crisis? And how has a lack of access to accurate information affected ability and willingness to get vaccinated?

On Thursday, July 22nd, 2021 at 10:00am EDT, the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy (TIMEP) hosted a virtual conversation with Ayman Sabae (EIPR), Jasmin Diab (AUB), Joey Shea (MEI), and Aula Abbara (Imperial College London), moderated by TIMEP Nonresident Fellow Ghinwa Hayek. Our panelists analyzed responses to the pandemic and vaccine access across the region, and proposed solutions, both for the present moment and future health crises.