JavaScript is off. Please enable to view full site.

Rich nations stockpiling a billion more COVID-19 shots than needed: report

Rich nations stockpiling a billion more COVID-19 shots than needed: report

Friday, February 19, 2021, 09:39 GMT+7
Rich nations stockpiling a billion more COVID-19 shots than needed: report
A health worker prepares an injection with a dose of Astra Zeneca coronavirus vaccine, at a vaccination centre in Westfield Stratford City shopping centre, amid the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in London, Britain, February 18, 2021. Photo: Reuters

LONDON -- Rich countries are on course to have over a billion more doses of COVID-19 vaccines than they need, leaving poorer nations scrambling for leftover supplies as the world seeks to curb the coronavirus pandemic, a report by anti-poverty campaigners found on Friday.

In an analysis of current supply deals for COVID-19 vaccines, the ONE Campaign said wealthy countries, such as the United States and Britain, should share the excess doses to “supercharge” a fully global response to the pandemic.

The advocacy group, which campaigns against poverty and preventable diseases, said a failure to do so would deny billions of people essential protection from the COVID-19-causing virus and likely prolong the pandemic.

The report looked specifically at contracts with the five leading COVID-19 vaccine makers - Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Oxford-AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, and Novavax.

It found that to date, the United States, the European Union, Britain, Australia, Canada and Japan have already secured more than 3 billion doses - over a billion more than the 2.06 billion needed to give their entire populations two doses.

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

“Rich countries understandably hedged their bets on vaccines early in the pandemic but with these bets paying off in spades, a massive course correction is needed if we are going to protect billions of people around the world,” she added.

The analysis found that, along with other COVID vaccine supplies procured by the global COVAX vaccine-sharing plan and in bilateral deals, the excess rich-country doses would go a long way to protecting vulnerable people in poorer countries.

This would significantly reduce the risk of deaths from COVID-19, it said, as well as limiting the chances of new virus variants emerging and accelerating an end to the pandemic.

The World Health Organization on Thursday urged nations with vaccines not to share them unilaterally, but to donate them to the global COVAX scheme to ensure fairness.

Reuters

Read more

Children fuel English COVID case rise after slow vaccine start

The spread of COVID-19 among children in England is fuelling a recent rise in cases nationally and causing concern among some scientists that vaccines are being rolled out in schools too slowly, risking the welfare of children and adults alike

1 day ago
;

Photos

VIDEOS

Vietnam’s Mekong Delta celebrates spring with ‘hat boi’ performances

The art form is so popular that it attracts people from all ages in the Mekong Delta

Vietnamese youngster travels back in time with clay miniatures

Each work is a scene caught by Dung and kept in his memories through his journeys across Vietnam

Experience summer sand-boarding in Mui Ne

Sand-boarding, a popular activity amongst local children in the coastal tourism town of Mui Ne in south-central Vietnam, is attracting hundreds of tourists to the Red Sand Dunes

Latest news

Japan's Mount Aso erupts, alert level raised

Mount Aso, a volcano on Japan's main southern island of Kyushu, erupted on Wednesday, Japan's Meteorological Agency said, spewing volcanic ash 3,500 metres (2.17 miles) into the sky