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Rich countries hoarding vaccines

Republika

A report by an anti-poverty campaign group has seen a number of wealthy countries purchase at least a billion more doses of Covid19 vaccines than they actually need—even with both doses accounted for—leaving behind poorer nations in the race to secure vaccines.


ONE Campaign’s report was analysis of ongoing supply deals, which showed that these countries—such as the United Kingdom and the United States—should share the excess in order to “supercharge” the global response to the pandemic.


If not, billions of people would be denied essential protection from the coronavirus, thus prolonging the pandemic further.


The report examined contracts with the five major drug-makers: Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and Novavax. It showed that the US, the European Union, Britain, Australia, Canada and Japan have more than 3 billion doses, enough to vaccinate their populations with both doses twice over.


“This huge excess is the embodiment of vaccine nationalism,” said ONE Campaign senior director, Jenny Ottenhoff.

The report also discovered that apart from the COVAX vaccine-sharing scheme, countries with doses to spare would also help greatly in protecting vulnerable sectors in developing countries. This would shrink Covid19-related deaths and the chances of new virus variants developing as well as speed up the end of the pandemic.


The World Health Organization has asked these nations to donate them to the COVAX facility instead of sharing them unilaterally.

US President Joe Biden has promised $4 billion to COVAX, while the EU is set to double their donation to $1.2 billion. French President Emmanuel Macron recommended that western nations give 3 to 5% of their vaccine supply to Africa.


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