A coalition of campaigning bodies has warned that it is likely that people from poor countries will miss out on a Covid-19 vaccine because the richer countries are hoarding doses of the vaccines.
Only one in 10 people will be able to get vaccination in the almost 70 lower-income countries, claimed the People’s Vaccine Alliance. This is despite the pledge of Oxford-AstraZeneca of making 64 per cent of its vaccines available to the people living in the developing countries.
Measures to make sure that the access to vaccine around the globe is fair are being taken.
Covax is a vaccine commitment that has managed to already secure 700 million doses of vaccines which will be distributed among people residing in the 92 lower-income countries who have become part of the program.
But the People’s Vaccine Alliance – a network of organisations including Amnesty International, Oxfam and Global Justice Now, claims that there is not enough vaccines even with the above plan in place and have called on drug companies to share their technologies so that other companies can also manufacture the vaccines.
If and when all of the vaccines under development and whose doses have been secured by the richer countries, they would end up with three times the vaccine doses needed to vaccinate the entire population of the rich countries, the analysis of the campaign group found.
It cited the example of Canada which has struck agreement with vaccine makers which ensures the country getting five times the number of vaccines needed foer its entire population if all the vaccine candidates get usage approval in time.
So far, 53 per cent of all the promising vaccines have been bought by the rich countries even though they have just 14 per cent of the total global population.
“No-one should be blocked 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 health policy manager. “But unless something changes dramatically, billions of people around the world will not receive a safe and effective vaccine for Covid-19 for years to come.”
All pharmaceutical corporations that are currently working on development of Covid-19 vaccines should ethically take the step of sharing their technology and intellectual property with other companies so that it would be possible to make billions more doses and make them easily available to all individuals of the world who need vaccines, said the People’s Vaccine Alliance.
It said that this can be undertaken through the World Health Organization Covid-19 technology access pool.
The Cvoid-19 vaccine being developed by AstraZeneca in partnership with the University of Oxford will be available to the developing world in a not-for-profit basis, the company has already pledged. This vaccine is less costly than the other available vaccine and can be stored and transported at fridge temperatures which will make this vaccine easier to distribute throughout the world.
(Adapted from BBC.com)