Event Details

  • Hosts: Yale Economic Growth Center, the South Asian Studies Council at Yale MacMillan Center, and the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs
  • Equitable Vaccine Distribution: Insights on Covid-19 from past public health emergencies – the third in the series, "The Yale Development Dialogues: Economic Policy Lessons from History"
  • Date and time: Tuesday February 9, 2021, 9:30AM EST (14:30 GMT, 20:00 IST)

Event Description

The pace of development for Covid-19 vaccines was nothing short of remarkable. But, as is often said, vaccines don’t save lives, vaccinations do. And a number of challenges stand in the way of equitable vaccine distribution. 

An early 19th century cartoon of a chaotic medical environment with a woman receiving a vaccine
An 1802 cartoon by British satirist James Gillray caricatured a London smallpox clinic and reflected anxieties concerning inoculating against the disease. Courtesy, US Library of Congress.

What are the most promising strategies to support the roll out of vaccines, in order to contain the Covid-19 pandemic, and allow society to resume many of the educational, social, and economic activities that have been disrupted over the past year? What policies and partnerships can ensure that vaccines reach low- and middle-income countries as well as historically marginalized groups within those contexts? 

History offers lessons for ways to deal with challenges ranging from vaccine hesitancy to vaccine nationalism. What are some of the key takeaways for global coverage and acceptance of the Covid-19 vaccine? The issue of trust in public health has posed a problem for decades, and if the global health community can overcome challenges of distribution, there may be an opportunity to build trust ahead of future pandemics. 

These issues will be the focus of the third event in a series of virtual panels, The Yale Development Dialogues, a collaboration between the Yale Economic Growth Center and the South Asian Studies Council at Yale MacMillan Center, and the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs.


Caitjan Gainty  is a historian of twentieth century medicine and technology at King's College London. Her research examines the systematization of medicine and healthcare and the way notions of its significance and effectiveness have evolved historically. She serves as Principal Investigator for the Healthy Scepticism project, which examines the role of medicine's critics and detractors, its dispossessed and antagonists in the constitution of its contemporary form.


Headshot of Omer

Saad B. Omer  is the inaugural Director of Yale Institute for Global Health. He is also a Professor of Medicine (Infectious Diseases) at Yale School of Medicine and the Susan Dwight Bliss Professor of Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases at Yale School of Public Health. Dr Omer’s research portfolio includes epidemiology of respiratory viruses such as influenza, RSV, and Covid-19. He has conducted several studies on interventions to increase immunization coverage and acceptance.


Stewart head shotRory Stewart is a Senior Fellow at Yale Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, where he focuses on contemporary politics in crisis and on international development and intervention in fragile and conflict affected states. Stewart served as the UK Secretary of State for International Development where he doubled the U.K.’s investment in international climate and environment.



Cheney headhshotCatherine Cheney ‘10 is a Senior Reporter for Devex, covering the West Coast of the U.S., focusing on the role of technology, innovation, and philanthropy in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.