- The world has been racing to find a Covid-19 vaccine since the pandemic started
- However, it appears poorer countries will be last in line to get the vaccine should it be developed successfully
- According to a study, more than half of the promised doses of leading Covid-19 vaccine candidates are already bought up by rich countries
Countries around the world have been working around the clock to find a vaccine for Covid-19. With the disease still wreaking havoc, people are keeping their fingers crossed that a medical breakthrough comes sooner than later.
However, it appears poorer countries will have a long wait even if a successful vaccine is found. According to an analysis, about 51% of the promised doses of leading Covid-19 vaccine candidates have already been purchased by rich countries.
Globally, there are five vaccines that are in the final phase of clinical trials and deals have been agreed on for a total of 5.3 billion doses.
According to an analysis by Oxfam, wealthy countries, which make up about 13% of the world, have bought up more than half the promised doses of leading Covid-19 vaccine candidates.
Statista.com reported that it could mean that "even in the extremely unlikely event that all five vaccines succeed, 61 percent of the world’s population will not have a vaccine until at least 2022. It’s far more likely some of these experiments will fail, leaving the number of people without access even higher."
Not only has rich countries called dibs on the vaccines, but poorer countries would not be able to afford if even if they did want to buy now.
Briefly.co.za learned that the wealthy nations cost up to $35 per dose and it puts the :protection out of reach for many people living in poverty".
Anna Marriott, Health Policy Advisor at Oxfam, commented:
“These figures reveal how pharmaceutical monopolies are being protected at the expense of people’s health and the global economy. While countries like the UK are understandably concerned about securing enough doses, until they challenge monopolies these deals will leave many poorer nations out in the cold.
"Most importantly, we will never be able to produce a vaccine at the scale required until corporations share their knowledge free from patents. We need a People’s Vaccine, not a profit vaccine.”
Meanwhile, in other coronavirus related news, Briefly.co.za reported South Africa is now officially under Level 1 restrictions but Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has warned against complacency.
Speaking to eNCA, Mkhize said that the nation is not out of the woods just yet with a real risk of another wave of infections:
"We are now searching for the vaccine, but before we get the vaccine, we can't rest. South Africans need to know that level 1 isn't like everything is over."
The minister reiterated that now is not the time to let your guard slip, commenting further that:
"We have to make sure we take precautions. This Covid-19 can still resurge. We must not lose the message and be complacent."