Rich nations have purchased over half the future supply of leading Covid-19 vaccine candidates in supply deals with the pharmaceutical industry, the charity Oxfam has warned..
Oxfam and other organizations are therefore calling for a "people's vaccine" free of charge, distributed fairly based on need.
Oxfam also warned that the companies leading the vaccine race now do not have the capacity to manufacture sufficient amount of vaccines to vaccinate everyone who needs one.
The data collected by the analytics company Airfinity, an NGO, analyzed deals struck by pharmaceuticals and vaccine producers for the five leading vaccine candidates now in the final stages of trials. Even if all five vaccines succeed - which is extremely unlikely - almost two thirds, or 61 percent, of the world's population will not have one until at least 2022. "It's far more likely some of these experiments will fail, leaving the number of people without access even higher", Oxfam said.
One of the leading vaccine candidates, developed by Moderna, has received $2.48 billion in committed taxpayer's money. But the company has sold the options for all of its supply to rich nations ― at prices ranging from $12-16 a dose in the United States to around $35 per dose for other countries.
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Big pharma is racing to produce an effective jab to counter a virus that has now killed more than 935,000 people around the world and infected nearly 30 million. The total production capacity of the five vaccine developers amounts to just under 6 billion doses, according to Oxfam.
It said, developed countries and regions, including the USA, the UK, European Union, Australia, Hong Kong and Macau, Japan, Switzerland and Israel have notched deals for 2.7 billion (51 per cent) doses out of the total 5.3 billion doses so far.
Most of the remaining 2.6 billion doses have been bought by large developing countries such as China, India, Bangladesh, Brazil, Indonesia and Mexico. That's why we are calling on them to share their knowledge free of patents and to get behind a quantum leap in production to keep everyone safe. This is enough for 2.97 billion people, provided all of these vaccines require two doses. "We need a People's Vaccine, not a profit vaccine", said Chema Vera, Interim Executive Director of Oxfam International.
"India is one of the leading vaccine producers", Dmitriev said, adding that his agency is engaged in "active dialogue" with New Delhi and Indian companies to secure a deal on production in India.
On Sept 9, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin promised that Malaysia will not miss the vaccine for Covid-19 even though the country does not produce it.