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September 17, 2020

Oxfam criticises the vaccine nationalism of richer countries

By Allie Nawrat

Using data from Airfinity, non-profit charity confederation Oxfam has warned that wealthy countries which make up on 13% of the world’s population have already bought up approximately 51% of doses of the five leading Covid-19 vaccine candidates.

This creates a situation, where even if all five vaccines did get approved, almost two-thirds of the world’s population would not have access to a Covid-19 vaccine until 2022 at the earlier.

Oxfam notes that while the UK has managed to secure deals for several leading vaccines candidates, which is the equivalent of five doses per head of the UK population, analysis shows that Bangladesh, for example, has only secured one dose per nine people.

Oxfam health policy advisor Anna Marriott 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.”

Other charitable organisations have also emphasised that the only way to logistically end this pandemic is for Covid-19 vaccines to be available to those at-need, irrespective of where they live.

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