Safeguarding people living in vulnerable conditions in the COVID-19 era through universal health coverage and social protection

Lancet Commission on COVID-19: Task Force on Humanitarian Relief, Social Protection and Vulnerable Groups

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35 Citations (Scopus)


The COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented. The pandemic not only induced a public health crisis, but has led to severe economic, social, and educational crises. Across economies and societies, the distributional consequences of the pandemic have been uneven. Among groups living in vulnerable conditions, the pandemic substantially magnified the inequality gaps, with possible negative implications for these individuals' long-term physical, socioeconomic, and mental wellbeing. This Viewpoint proposes priority, programmatic, and policy recommendations that governments, resource partners, and relevant stakeholders should consider in formulating medium-term to long-term strategies for preventing the spread of COVID-19, addressing the virus's impacts, and decreasing health inequalities. The world is at a never more crucial moment, requiring collaboration and cooperation from all sectors to mitigate the inequality gaps and improve people's health and wellbeing with universal health coverage and social protection, in addition to implementation of the health in all policies approach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e86-e92
JournalThe Lancet Public Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank Earl Hamilton (The National Center for Faith Based Initiatives, FL, USA), Justin Koonin (UHC2030, Sydney, NSW, Australia), Michael Samson (Economic Policy Research Institute, Cape Town, South Africa), Natalia Winder Rossi, Associate Director of Social Policy, and David Stewart (UNICEF, NY, USA), Akihito Watabe (UHC2030, Switzerland), and Luiz Augusto Cassanha Galvao (Oswaldo Cruz Foundation–Fiocruz, Brazil) for their contributions to this publication.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an Open Access article under the CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 license


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