Asia’s Last Mile Vaccination Challenge

Bart Édes
7 min readJul 13, 2021
Photo by Mat Napo on Unsplash

The distribution of COVID-19 vaccines is picking up pace in low- and middle-income countries in Asia, raising hopes that government restrictions on mobility and mandatory quarantines will be loosened in the coming months. Nonetheless, the increasing availability of vaccines does nothing to address a problem that bedevils many countries, and not only in Asia: the lack of vaccine enthusiasm, the reluctance, in other words, by a large share of the population, to get vaccinated. This phenomenon could give COVID-19 variants the opportunity to evolve, spread, and significantly slow the pace of economic recovery.

The Philippines, India, Malaysia, and Indonesia now rank at the bottom of Bloomberg’s COVID resilience ranking. Data collected by RIWI, a Toronto-based company that offers tracking surveys and predictive analytics, show that about 40 per cent of respondents in the Philippines and about one-third of respondents in China and India say they will not take a COVID-19 vaccine (see Chart 1) [1].

RIWI uses a method that allows random exposure for anyone with online access in any country. As a result, these data, collected continuously every day between March 2020 and June 2021, reflect…

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Bart Édes

Author of Learning from Tomorrow: Using Strategic Foresight to Prepare for the Next Big Disruption