Refugees excluded from COVID-19 vaccine rollout according to World Vision report

  • Only one person out of thousands World Vision surveyed had received a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • 84% of all available vaccine doses have been administered in richest countries with as few as 0.1% administered in poorer nations
  • Most refugees live in lower income countries and are being left out of the extremely limited vaccination campaigns host countries are able to muster

A report released today by aid agency World Vision said that refugees and internally displaced people, who are at high risk of contracting COVID-19, are the lowest priority group when it comes to vaccination.

High Risk- Low Priority warns that COVID-19 is now surging in lower income countries that do not have the resources needed to contain the virus and protect their own populations. They have access to only three per cent of global vaccine doses. These countries also host over forty million of the world’s forcibly displaced people, who as a result, are being left out of the extremely limited vaccination campaigns host countries are able to deliver. 

Andrew Morley, World Vision International President and CEO, said: “It is a moral outrage that communities most ravaged by Covid-19 continue to have the least access to vaccines.”

Higher income countries are vaccinating their populations 25 times faster than nations with lowest incomes and have ensured that their own most vulnerable people are protected. World Vision says they must now secure the same protection for the world’s most vulnerable.

Many children, already vulnerable because of displacement, are now missing even more vital education because of lockdowns. Children are now living with people who abuse them. Girls and boys are being forced into work or pushed into an early marriage as livelihoods are decimated and parents struggle to cope.” Said Morley

Research carried out by World Vision in Brazil, Colombia, DRC, Jordan, Peru, Turkey, Uganda and Venezuela found that

  • Only one person out of 1,914 people surveyed had received a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • 68% ad not even heard of plans for vaccinations in their communities. Almost half (47%) thought they weren’t eligible or did not know they were. 
  • Displaced people in all contexts surveyed have experienced xenophobia, hate speech and both physical and emotional attacks since the start of the pandemic.
  • 72% of respondents reported an  income drop, 40% said they lost a job and, 77% cent say they can’t meet food needs.

Last week at the G7 world leaders pledged to donate one billion COVID-19 vaccines to the world’s most vulnerable. World Vision is calling on donor governments to ensure that this pledge turns into a reality and to secure equitable access to the vaccine for forcibly displaced people as a priority. It also calls on host governments to include all forcibly displaced people, regardless of their legal and documentation status, in Covid-19 vaccination plans and roll outs, prevention measures and social protection initiatives on equal footing with their own citizens.

Despite more than 190 countries committing to COVAX to deliver 2 billion vaccine doses for at least 20% of the most vulnerable and high risk-groups by the end of 2021, deliveries are both underfunded and delayed.

“Children of the world are looking to world leaders to act. Our research shows the true extent of the crisis. This pandemic will not end anywhere until it ends everywhere.”


Notes to editor

For more information or to organise an interview please contact: 

Niamh Cooper |  Director of Media and Social Media Engagement | | Skype: Niamh.cooper5 | Phone: +353 87 942 3371

You can access a copy of High Risk- Low Priority  here

World Visionis a Christian humanitarianorganisationdedicated to working with children, families and their communities to reach their full potential by tackling the root causes of poverty andinjustice.World Vision serves all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender.  For more information, please visit or follow us on Twitter @WorldVision    

World Vision is responding to the devastating impact of COVID-19 in more than 70 countries. Our US$350 million response aims to reach, 72 million people, including 36 million children, especially the most vulnerable. We continue to respond this is global crisis by providing access to food and nutrition, protection, education, livelihood for children and families. 

World Vision is committed to supporting the fair and equitable global roll-out of WHO endorsed vaccines and is partnering with governments, faith leaders, and community health workers in combatting the spread of COVID-19.