No end to pandemic without equal vaccine access – experts

Health minister, Dr. Irvin McIntyre receives his first vaccine shot

PARIS – Developing new COVID-19 vaccines will fail to end the pandemic unless all countries receive doses in a fast and fair manner, disease experts warned Saturday.

As several nations consider implementing vaccine passports when international travel resumes, the authors of an open letter published in the Lancet medical journal said vaccine stockpiling in wealthier countries would only prolong the global health emergency.

They warned that “vaccine nationalism” could leave the COVAX initiative aimed at getting vaccines to low- and middle-income countries facing a huge dosage shortfall for several years to come.

“The stark reality is that the world now needs more doses of COVID-19 vaccines than any other vaccine in history in order to immunize enough people to achieve global vaccine immunity,” said lead author Olivier Wouters from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

“Unless vaccines are distributed more equitably, it could be years before the coronavirus is brought under control at a global level.”

Despite there being more than two dozen COVID-19 vaccines either in development or approved for use, lower income countries still have enormous logistical challenges to procure immunizations and deliver them to populations.

These include a lack of funds to purchase vaccines, as well as poor infrastructure to transport and store them — especially since the mRNA vaccines on the market currently need to be kept extremely cold throughout their delivery.

And despite unprecedented public and private investment in vaccine development and procurement, COVAX estimates it will need an additional $6.8 billion in 2021 to secure supplies for 92 developing nations.

Based on available sales figures, the authors said that rich nations representing 16% of the global population had already secured 70% of vaccine doses — enough to inoculate every one of their owns citizen several times over.

“Securing large quantities of vaccines in this way amounts to countries placing widespread vaccination of their own populations ahead of the vaccination of health care workers and high-risk populations in poorer countries,” said co-author Mark Jit from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

The letter called on manufacturers to accelerate technology transfer to developing nations to help them produce doses domestically, as well as price controls for what it termed “prohibitively expensive” vaccines currently on the market.

The authors said that vaccines developed by China, India and Russia, once authorized by the World Health Organization, could be a big help to poorer nations as their supply and storage were simpler than the U.S. and European alternatives.

Source: AFP

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  1. click here
    February 19, 2021

    So, the doses China gave us have NOT been sanctioned and approved by the World Health Orgnaization?

  2. Rob Ridley
    February 17, 2021

    Paying / contracting for vaccine is not the same as securing vaccine. Canada has contracted with many – 2 of which have been approved. Both Pfizer and Moderna have already failed to deliver promised doses in a timely manner. Astra Zeneca, it appears may not get approved – possibly because of poor efficacy with variants. We’re sitting on little more than unfulfilled promises.

  3. Annon
    February 16, 2021

    Lie after Lie. A world full of lies and deception since the day that you are born, unbeknownst to most people.

  4. February 16, 2021

    Good job. I only hope you are not jabbing saline solution and mineral water in your system. I hope Mr. Kong did not align himself with the Indian government to ship this fake vaccine to you. And where is the boss who said he would the first to take the vaccine? Boss Oh!!!!!!

  5. February 15, 2021

    haha a fake shut man look she dont have gloves on..

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