How Much Do We Know about COVID-19 Vaccine Deals? The Quest for Transparent and Equitable Vaccine Deployment

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For Whose Benefit? Transparency in the development and procurement of COVID-19 vaccines


The COVID-19 pandemic has required an unprecedented public health response, with governments dedicating massive amounts of resources to their health systems at extraordinary speed. Governments have had to respond quickly to fast-changing contexts, with many competing interests, and little in the way of historical precedent to guide them.

Transparency here is paramount; publicly available information is critical to reducing the inherent risks of such a situation by ensuring governmental decisions are accountable and by enabling non-governmental expert input into the global vaccination process.

This report analyses transparency of two key stages of the vaccine development in chronological order: the development and subsequent buying of vaccines.

Given the scope, rapid progression and complexity of the global vaccination process, this is not an exhaustive analysis. First, all the following analysis is limited to 20 leading COVID-19 vaccines that were in, or had completed, phase 3 clinical trials as of 11th January 2021. Second, we have concentrated on transparency of two of the initial stages of the process: clinical trial transparency and the public contracting for the supply of vaccines. The report provides concrete recommendations on how to overcome current opacity in order to contribute to achieving the commitment of world leaders to ensure equal, fair and affordable access to COVID-19 vaccines for all countries.

Register for free via the Center for Global Development website here.



  • Jonathan Cushing, Head of Global Health, Transparency International
  • Javier Guzman, Director of Global Health Policy and Senior Policy Fellow, Center for Global Development
  • Jillian Kohler, Director, WHO Collaborating Centre for Governance, Transparency and Accountability in the Pharmaceutical Sector
  • Nicaise Ndembi, Senior Science Advisor, Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Natalie Rhodes, Policy Officer, Transparency International
  • David Wilson, Program Director, Health, Nutrition and Population, World Bank
  • Tom Wright, Senior Programme Officer, Transparency International 
  • Additional speakers to be announced


  • Janeen Madan Keller, Assistant Director of Global Health Policy and Senior Policy Analyst, Center for Global Development


Policymakers around the world have made the expeditious deployment of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines a top priority in order to bring the pandemic under control. But how much information about COVID-19 purchasing agreements is actually available in the public domain? And how can data sharing and contract publication help policymakers decide how much vaccine countries should buy, who should pay, and how they should be delivered and distributed?

Join the Center for Global Development and Transparency International for a discussion on opportunities for greater transparency in COVID-19 vaccine development and procurement, building on new research from Transparency International and the WHO Collaborating Centre for Governance, Accountability, and Transparency in the Pharmaceutical Sector on transparency in COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials and contracting. Speakers will highlight the key risks of limited information on vaccine development and procurement and examine how to move toward more systematic and strategic approaches for improved global access and equity.

Register for free via the Center for Global Development website here.