Rich countries supply most of Covid-19 vaccines, NGO worries

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A group of rich countries, home to 13% of the world’s population, have already bought more than half of the promised doses of Covid-19 vaccines, according to a report released by the NGO Oxfam on Wednesday.

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Oxfam analyzed the deals between pharmaceutical companies and vaccine manufacturers for the five leading Covid-19 vaccine candidates, which are currently in the final stages of testing. The organization relied on data collected by analytics company Airfinity.

“The availability of a life-saving vaccine should not depend on where you live or how much money you have,” said Oxfam America spokesman Robert Silverman.

“The development and validation of a safe and effective vaccine is important, but it is equally important to ensure that vaccines are available to everyone and everyone can afford them. Covid-19 is somewhere Covid-19 is everywhere.”

The vaccines analyzed in the report have been developed by AstraZeneca, Gamaleya / Sputnik, Moderna, Pfizer and Sinovac.

Oxfam estimated that these five vaccine candidates could be produced in 5.9 billion doses, which is enough for three billion people, given that the use of these future vaccines may require two doses per person.

To date, 5.3 billion doses have been contracted and 2.7 billion have been purchased by developed countries, territories and regions, including the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union (EU), Australia, Hong Kong, Macao, Japan, Switzerland and Israel.

The remaining 2.6 billion doses have been bought or promised to developing countries, including India, Bangladesh, China, Brazil, Indonesia and Mexico.

Oxfam and other organizations are calling for the development of a “folk vaccine” that would be free and distributed fairly as needed.

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