There are fears that rich countries may leave poorer countries “hoarding” more coronavirus vaccine than they need.
By the end of next year the rich countries have accumulated enough vaccine doses to triple the immunization of their people, all vaccines in clinical trials have been approved for use.
These findings come from the People’s Vaccine Alliance, which includes Oxfam and Amnesty International, and analyzed agreements between countries and eight leading vaccine candidates.
It found that all doses of the modern vaccine were purchased by rich countries, as did 96% of Pfizer’s.
Only 14% of the world’s population has purchased 53% of the most promising vaccines, and Canada has enough vaccines for every Canadian to be vaccinated five times.
On the other hand, the Coalition estimates that only one in 10 poor countries will be vaccinated next year.
A total of 1.5 million cases of the corona virus have been reported in Kenya, Myanmar, Nigeria, Pakistan and Ukraine.
It is not even enough to promise that 64% of those behind the Oxford / Astrogeneca vaccine will be allocated to people in developing countries.
Supply is projected to be even higher next year at only 18% of the world’s population.
The coalition says governments and the pharmaceutical industry need to take urgent action to ensure that the world has adequate vaccine levels – not just the countries that can pay for them.
Stephen Cockburn, head of economic and social justice at Amnesty International, said: “The hoarding of vaccines is seriously undermining global efforts to ensure that everyone, everywhere, can be protected from COVID-19.
“Rich countries have clear human rights obligations that not only prevent actions that affect access to vaccines elsewhere, but also cooperate and provide assistance to countries in need.”
Anna Marriott, Oxfam’s health policy manager, said: “No one should be prevented from getting the life-saving vaccine because of the country in which they live or the money in their pocket.
“But unless something dramatically changes, billions of people around the world will not get a safe and effective vaccine for COVID-19 for years to come.”
Preet Kaur Gill, Labor’s shadow international development secretary, said: “UK taxpayers deserve to know that the money they spend on their behalf is guaranteed to bring real equal access around the world.