Centre for Behaviour Change


Lancet Covid-19 Commission report details ‘massive global failures’ of pandemic response

26 September 2022

Widespread, global failures in the Covid-19 response led to millions of preventable deaths and reversed the progress made towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in many countries, finds a new report involving UCL researchers.

Hospital room with a  sign of COVID risk

The Lancet Covid-19 Commission report, reviews evidence from the first two years of the pandemic and outlines recommendations on ending the pandemic and effectively managing future global health threats, alongside achieving long-term sustainable development.

The report is the result of two years’ work from leading experts in public policy, international governance, epidemiology, vaccinology, economics, international finance, sustainability, and mental health.

It cites widespread failures of prevention, transparency, rationality, basic public health practice, and operational cooperation and international solidarity, that resulted in an estimated 17.7 million deaths.

Co-author, Professor Susan Michie (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences), formed part of the Public Health working group of the commission, who found that the failures were partly down to isolated and unequal national responses to Covid-19 - featuring inconsistent public health advice and poor implementation of public health and social measures, such as wearing face masks and vaccination.

Professor Michie said: “We found that public policies failed to draw upon the behavioural and social sciences, which would have led to a more successful implementation of public health interventions and helped to increase social trust, pro-sociality, equity and wellbeing.

Please, continue reading here.