Nurse Paula McMahon (R) is preparing a dose of Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for Grace Thomson (L) at Louisa Jordan Hospital in Glasgow on December 8, 2020, as Britain’s largest vaccination program to date.
Jeff J. Mitchell | AFP | Getty Images
LONDON – A coalition of campaigning bodies has warned that people in lower-income countries are likely to miss a safe and effective coronavirus vaccine in the coming years, accusing richer nations of collecting “more doses of Covid-19 shots” than they need van.
The People’s Vaccine Association, which is part of Amnesty International, Global Justice Now and Oxfam, said rich nations have bought enough doses to vaccinate their entire population almost three times by the end of 2021.
Canada is leading the list with enough doses to vaccinate each animal five times, the group said. In contrast, nearly 70 lower-income countries will only be able to vaccinate every 10 people against the coronavirus next year.
Reuters reported last month citing three unnamed sources that Canada was in talks with other governments about a plan to offer some doses of Covid-19 to lower-income countries.
The People’s Vaccine Association analyzed transactions between the countries and the eight leading coronavirus vaccine candidates, citing data collected by the scientific information and analysis firm Airfinity. The group said it assumed that all the coronavirus vaccines currently in clinical trials had been approved.
“No one should be prevented from getting a life-saving vaccine because of the country they live in or the amount of money in their pocket,” said Anna Marriott, Oxfam’s head of health policy.
“But if something does not change dramatically, billions of people around the world will not receive a safe and effective vaccination against COVID-19 in the coming years.”
Rich countries are “violating” human rights obligations
The report comes at a time when many are hoping that a mass vaccination program could help end the coronavirus epidemic, which has claimed more than 1.56 million lives worldwide.
However, the global struggle to secure future supplies of Covid-19 vaccines has raised concerns about equitable access, while issues of logistics, distribution, and, perhaps most importantly, cost remain.
The UK released the first coronavirus vaccine to the public on Tuesday, with 90-year-old Margaret Keenan receiving the first Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in the world under experimental conditions. The vaccine was approved by the UK drug regulator last week and is likely to be approved in other countries in the coming days.
Two other prospective vaccine candidates, Moderna and Oxford-AstraZeneca, are expected to submit data to regulators or await approval.
The Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, is wearing a protective mask after a press conference held on Friday, September 25, 2020 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
David Kawai | Bloomberg | Getty Images
According to the People’s Vaccine Association, wealthy peoples, representing only 14% of the world’s total population, have purchased 53% of the promising vaccines to date.
To date, the association has announced that all doses of Moderna and 96% of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine have been obtained by rich countries. Oxford-AstraZeneca, described as a “welcome contrast,” has promised to provide 64% of its rations to people in developing nations.
“The accumulation of vaccines is actively undermining global efforts to ensure that everyone and everywhere can be protected from COVID-19. Rich countries have clear human rights obligations, not just to refrain from accessing vaccines that could harm elsewhere. access to vaccines, but also cooperation and security of supply, helping countries in need, ”said Steve Cockburn, head of economic and social justice at Amnesty International.
“By acquiring the vast majority of the world’s vaccine stockpiles, rich countries are violating their human rights obligations. Instead, by sharing knowledge and expanding supplies with others, they can contribute to ending the global COVID-19 crisis,” he added.