Rich nations hoarding 1bn more COVID-19 vaccines than needed; Report

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
COVID-19 Vaccine Image
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An analysis report published by the anti-poverty advocacy group ONE Campaign has revealed an alarming trend of massive COVID-19 vaccine hoarding carried out by rich and privileged nations. 

The report states that wealthy countries like the United States and Britain are on course to gain 1 billion COVID-19 doses in excess of their real requirement, potentially leading poorer and lesser-privileged nations across the globe to fight for leftover COVID-19 vaccines.

The group which had reviewed vaccine contracts agreed by five major players namely; Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Oxford-AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, and Novavax as part of its analysis urged wealthy nations to give away excess vaccine doses to poorer countries while warning that failing to do so will deny billions of people essential protection from the coronavirus and is likely to prolong the pandemic.

Revelation 

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

Sharing her view on this dangerous practice, Jenny Ottenhoff, Senior Director for Policy at ONE Campaign remarked that “this huge excess is the embodiment of vaccine nationalism,” while adding that “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.”

The campaign group observed that along with the COVID-19 vaccine supply through the  World Health Organization (WHO)-led COVAX initiative, the supply of excess doses by the rich nations would considerably increase the chances of protecting vulnerable people in poorer countries.

Unsatisfied by the vaccine nationalism at display amid the pandemic, the WHO had requested rich nations to not share the excess vaccines all by themselves and donate them to the global COVAX scheme to ensure fairness.

Related: Vaccine nationalism will slow pandemic recovery & economic growth: New WTO chief

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