Bloomberg: Help the poorest countries with a vaccine

The real war against coronavirus has broken out mainly in the richest countries in the world. Humanly, this is understandable, but it all seems short-sighted and morally imperfect.

An outbreak of a pandemic in the world’s poorest countries will jeopardize their own efforts to control the emergency caused by the disease. Interest must be consistent with what is considered a moral imperative.

Bloomberg: The richest countries in the world get vaccinated 25 times faster

Increasing the supply of vaccines to poor countries should be a higher priority. The European Union recently took a controversial step to secure vaccine doses to its citizens, limiting their exports until its own orders are fulfilled. In general, rich countries have done everything they can to reduce the supply of vaccines outside their borders. More than half of the 12.5 billion doses planned for this year are mainly for developed countries. Canada has purchased enough doses to vaccinate the population five times.

As of April 8, 2021, 40% of the Covid-19 vaccines administered globally have been delivered to the inhabitants of the 27 richest countries, which make up 11% of the world’s population. According to the analysis of the data collected Bloomberg Vaccine Tracker, countries that make up the poorest 11% received just 1.6% of the Covid-19 vaccines.

Poor countries can only count on a fraction of their population to be vaccinated this year. If the current trend is correct, many countries will not be able to complete vaccinations by 2024. It is unforgivable and dangerous for everyone to allow the pandemic to continue to spread across most of the planet without showing interest, and this needs to be emphasized. Since this greatly increases the risk of new deadly strains, which, if proven to be resistant to current vaccines, could lead to a new wave of disease even in fully vaccinated countries.

In addition, the ongoing restructuring of the global economy will be especially burdensome for those countries that have not been able to regain their lost ground due to the pandemic. If additional candidate vaccines prove to be effective, this will increase supply, although their potential will remain an issue.

For example, the United States carries out 24% of vaccinations in the world, but only 4.3% of the population lives there, while in Pakistan vaccine coverage is 0.1% for 2.7% of the world’s population. This pattern is being replicated around the world and follows the efforts of rich countries to pre-purchase billions of doses of vaccines, enough to reach their populations multiple times, according to separate analysis of vaccine deals

China vaccinated its people at a rate that roughly matches the world average: 20% of vaccinations have been carried out for 18% of the world’s population. He also exported vaccines to less wealthy countries, sometimes for free.

The world’s least wealthy continent, Africa, is also the least vaccinated. Of the 54 countries on the mainland, only three vaccinated more than 1% of the population. More than 20 countries have not even started vaccination yet.

In last place in Europe …

On April 6, 430 patients with coronavirus died in Ukraine. This is the worst indicator in Europe and the fourth in the world, according to the service. Worldometers… According to tests per million people, Ukraine is now in last place in Europe. If, with such low testing coverage, a country breaks mortality records, you can imagine what the death toll really is.

Ukraine refused to use Russian vaccines against COVID-19. On February 8, Zelensky, commenting on the possibility of inoculating Ukrainians from the coronavirus with Sputnik V, said that “Ukrainians are not rabbits“, You cannot experiment on them. In addition, Kiev has banned the registration of any Russian vaccines against coronavirus.

As of 9.04.2021 in Ukraine, a country with an official population of 41.5 million people, the number of vaccinated persons was 373 thousand, or 0.90% of the population. Only 5 thousand people are fully vaccinated. Considering that the effectiveness of the vaccine CovidShiеld, the Indian generic (infamous. Editor’s note) AstraZeneca, is not more than 63% (according to other estimates, up to 50%), the controversy of vaccination remains very high. And all this without taking into account the new, unexpected factor.

India decided to hold back its vaccine

World’s largest vaccine manufacturer, Indian serum institute, is a key supplier of Covax, a program in which 2 billion doses of vaccine are to be distributed to middle- and low-income countries, many of which do not have the ability to sign procurement contracts in their countries.

These plans are currently threatened by a decision by the Indian authorities. cut supplies so that more inventory can be stored for domestic consumption. As a new wave of infections emerges and the government is expanding vaccinations to everyone aged 45 and over. Serum’s Emergency License, issued in early January, prevents her from filling export orders without New Delhi’s approval.

Pfizer for Ukraine

Ukraine has signed an agreement with the American pharmaceutical corporation Pfizer for the supply of 10 million doses of vaccine against COVID-19, as agreed in February by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Pfizer Chief Executive Officer Albert Burla, Ukrainian media reported.

“Today is a very important day for Ukraine and for the Ukrainian (people) – today we finally signed an important contract with Pfizer for the supply of 10 million doses of vaccine. It was really difficult to do, but thanks to a conversation with Pfizer CEO Albert Burla, I had a conversation with him on February 8, he promised that he would do everything possible and impossible. And he did it, “Zelensky was quoted as saying by his press service on Tuesday.

According to the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, the delivery of vaccines is expected during 2021. “We expect the first shipments under this contract to begin shipping in the coming months. All 10 million doses will be delivered in 2021 (the year).” Earlier, this date has already been set for February and, judging by the sources, it is actually expected closer to the end of 2021.

What are the ways out of the stalemate?

A group of countries led by India and South Africa are pushing for copyright abolition of vaccines that are aimed at fighting the coronavirus during the pandemic. However, increasing production requires technology as well as access to intellectual property. It would be better to involve vaccine manufacturers as voluntary allies to increase production as quickly as possible and establish partnerships with other manufacturers.

Pharmaceutical companies that do not have viable vaccines of their own will have to continue manufacturing under contract, as Sanofi began to do for Pfizer and BioNTech. Rich countries could use their economic power to encourage it. China, Russia and India will need to provide more data on their vaccines and subject them to further study by the World Health Organization so that they can be used more widely. (A recent study found the Russian vaccine to be extremely effective.) The Global Vaccine Supply and Information Center will help governments identify bottlenecks and address delays.

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