Oxfam warns that rich nations worldwide have “already bought more than half” of the future COVID-19 doses, leaving poorer countries in the cold, per a press release.
Wealthy nations, such as the US, Japan, and the UK, only represent 13% of the world’s population, Oxfam reported.
Five leading pharmaceutical companies are already at phase 3 clinical trials of their vaccines, per Airfinity.
These five companies are AstraZeneca, Gamaleya, Moderna, Pfizer, and Sinovac.
According to Airfinity, those companies do not have enough capacities to produce enough vaccines for everyone.
Airfinity estimated that more than half of the world’s population might not have a vaccine until around 2022.
Moreover, this possibility will only be feasible if those five companies succeed in their vaccines.
It does not help that some companies are specific in their distribution of doses.
For example, AstraZeneca has already committed some of its doses to poorer countries.
However, Moderna opts to exclusively supply rich countries.
Call for a People’s Vaccine
Oxfam and other organizations launched a petition calling for a commitment from world leaders on the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.
The petition asks world leaders to ensure that COVID-19 vaccine distribution will be “free” and fair to everyone worldwide.
Per Oxfam, AstraZeneca has already pledged around 66% of its doses to developing countries.
Oxfam, in its press conference, made it clear that a fair distribution will only be successful if pharmaceutical companies will stop protecting their monopolies.
“We need a #PeoplesVaccine, not a profit vaccine,” said Anna Marriott, Oxfam’s health policy advisor.
To do this, companies have to share “their knowledge” of their vaccines “free of patents.”
Chema Vera, Oxfam International’s Executive Director talked about the threat of protecting big pharmaceutical’s monopoly on the vaccine.
If the Governments allow pharmaceutical companies “to protect their monopolies and profits,” it can only “prolong the crisis.”