Canada has enough COVID-19 vaccine doses to cover each citizen five times over while the fate of 67 poor countries remains undecided

Canada has enough COVID-19 vaccine doses to cover each citizen five times over while the fate of 67 poor countries remains undecided
The first candidates for the Oxford COVID-19 vaccine in India during phase 1 of the clinical trials in AugustBCCL
  • A new report by the People’s Vaccine Alliance claims Canada has secured enough COVID-19 vaccine doses to cover each citizen 5 times over.
  • Meanwhile, low-income nations only have enough to vaccinate one in every ten people against the infection.
  • Wealthy nations account for 14% of the global population but have hoarded 53% of the COVID-19 supply from the most promising candidates.
As the pharmaceutical companies around the world are locked in a race to develop a vaccine for the coronavirus pandemic, rich countries are hoarding most of the supply with Canada topping the list.

A new report by People’s Vaccine Alliance — a group which includes Amnesty International, Oxfam, Global Justice Now and others — claims that wealthy nations have hoarded enough doses to vaccinate their population three times over. Canada leads with enough supply to vaccinate each of its citizens five times.

Meanwhile, 67 poor countries will only be left with enough doses to vaccinate one in every ten people against COVID-19. Five of the 67 low-income countries — Kenya, Myanmar, Nigeria, Pakistan and Ukraine — have reported nearly 1.5 million cases between them.

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This is despite the fact that rich nations only account for 14% of the global population but they’ve bought up 53% of the vaccine candidates announced so far.

Vaccines will only cover 18% of the global population in 2021
Despite the efforts of companies like Pfizer, Oxford, Moderna and others to scale up supply, the analysis concludes that they won’t be able to reach more than 18% of the world’s population by the end of 2021.

Majority of the developing countries haven’t signed any deals and will have to share from the pool of COVAX vaccines being offered by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

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COVID-19 vaccines and who’s buying them
The COVID-19 vaccine being developed by Pfizer and NioNTech has already received approval in the UK and vaccinations are already underway. The vaccine is also likely to receive approval from other nations as well, including the US, within the coming weeks.

According to the report, all of Moderna’s doses and 96% of Pfizer’s doses have been acquired by rich countries.

In India, the COVID-19 vaccine being developed by Oxford and AstraZeneca is the front runner since it can survive in warmer temperatures, putting less pressure on the already strained cold storage capacity available locally.

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And hence, most of the supply has been raked up by India as well as by China.

The Russian vaccine, Sputnik, has also announced positive trial results and four other such candidates are currently engaged in phase 3 clinical trials.

“No one should be blocked from getting a life-saving vaccine because of the country they live in or the amount of money in their pocket. But unless something changes dramatically, billions of people around the world will not receive a safe and effective vaccine for COVID-19 for years to come,” said Anna Marriott, Oxfam’s health policy manager.

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The results were drawn using data collected by science information and analytics company Airfinity to analyse the deals done between countries and the eight leading vaccine candidates.

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