The logic of these countries, which represent 13% of the world’s population, is to source as a precaution from multiple competing manufacturers, in the hope that at least one of their vaccines will prove effective.
A group of rich countries representing 13% of the world’s population has pre-purchased half of future doses of Covid-19 vaccines, according to a communicated (in English) published by the NGO Oxfam, Thursday September 17th. The logic of these countries is to source as a precaution from multiple competing manufacturers, in the hope that at least one of their vaccines will prove effective.
According to Oxfam, contracts for vaccines in phase 3 clinical trials have already been signed with the five most advanced manufacturers for 5.3 billion doses, of which 51% for developed countries including the United States, the United Kingdom United, Japan, EU member states, as well as Australia, Hong Kong, Switzerland and Israel. These countries have entered into multiple agreements guaranteeing the production and delivery of doses in advance if the clinical trials in progress are successful.
Donald Trump’s United States (330 million inhabitants) has reserved a total of 800 million doses from six manufacturers and the European Union (450 million inhabitants) has purchased at least 1.5 billion doses, according to an AFP count.
The remaining 49% of the doses have been pledged to developing countries including India (where giant maker Serum Institute of India is located), Bangladesh, China, Brazil, Indonesia and Mexico, according to the NGO.
The press release urgently underlines the difficulty that part of the world population will have in finding vaccines in the initial period, while an international pooling device called Covax, supported by the World Health Organization, is boycotted by Washington and lack of funding. “Even in the unlikely event that all five vaccines are successful, nearly two-thirds (61%) of the world’s population will not have a vaccine until at least 2022”, fears the NGO.
Vital access to vaccines should not depend on where you live or how much money you have.to AFP
Public health experts have proposed several modes of global distribution: WHO wants to give each country enough to vaccinate 20% of its population, while a group of ethicists have suggested giving priority to countries where the virus kills most.
But the United States has announced that it intends to offer the vaccine first to all of its inhabitants, not just the vulnerable and the elderly. This kind of “vaccine nationalism” was denounced by multiple public health officials, and by the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, in a speech Wednesday before the European Parliament.