Nine out of ten people in nearly 70 low-income countries will not be vaccinated against COVID-19 in 2021, as most of the promising vaccines produced and developed now have already been bought out in advance by developed countries. It’s unclear exactly when doses will be available. This statement was made by members of the People’s Vaccine Alliance, which includes such human rights and charities as Amnesty International, Frontline AIDS, Global Justice Now, and Oxfam.
The alliance estimates that wealthy countries, which account for only 14% of the world’s population, have purchased 53% of all the most promising COVID-19 vaccines and can vaccinate their entire population multiple times.
Canada leads by a large margin in the number of purchased vaccines that will be able to vaccinate 410% of its population. All doses of the vaccine produced by Moderna, as well as 96% of the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine, are bought by rich countries. At the same time, 67 low-income countries may be practiced without a vaccine, and although these countries often have very high levels of infection with COVID-19. For example, five of these 67 countries – Kenya, Myanmar, Pakistan, Nigeria, and Ukraine – have a total of almost 1.5 million people infected.
Steve Cockburn, Amnesty International’s head of economic and social justice, said “By buying up huge amounts of vaccine, rich countries are violating their human rights obligations.”
The alliance has called on vaccine developers to share their technology and intellectual property through the World Health Organization so that more doses can be produced and the vaccine made available to the public. Also, the alliance called on governments around the world to ensure that the COVID-19 vaccine is recognized as a global public good, so that people receive it when needed, fairly and free.