Fourteen months into the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, we identify key lessons in the global and national responses to the pandemic. The World Health Organization has played a pivotal technical, normative and coordinating role, but has been constrained by its lack of authority over sovereign member states. Many governments also mistakenly attempted to manage COVID-19 like influenza, resulting in repeated lockdowns, high excess morbidity and mortality, and poor economic recovery. Despite the incredible speed of the development and approval of effective and safe vaccines, the emergence of new SARS-CoV-2 variants means that all countries will have to rely on a globally coordinated public health effort for several years to defeat this pandemic.


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Hassan, I., Mukaigawara, M., King, L., Fernandes, G. & Sridhar, D. 2021, 'Hindsight is 2020? Lessons in global health governance one year into the pandemic', Nature Medicine, 27(3), pp. 396-400. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41591-021-01272-2

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Last updated: 16 June 2022
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