Rich countries seize 70% of the world’s vaccines, challenging vaccine equality: a report

Vaccine image: VCG

Some high-income countries have about 70 percent of the coronavirus vaccines they would receive in 2021, which, along with other issues such as reproductive capacity, would largely threaten global immunization preparations. equal and timely, a recent report on The Lancet said.

The report, published online Friday, said governments in high-income countries, representing 16 percent of the world’s population, have hit pre-orders covering at least 4.2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines, which are at least 70 percent of doses available in 2021 from five candidates.

While COVAX seeks to ensure that no country should vaccinate more than 20 per cent of its population until all countries have vaccinated 20 per cent of their population, in line with global equality principles, many high-income countries have bypassed COVAX and instead tried to prioritize access to an abundance of COVID-19 vaccines that are sufficient for their populations vaccinated several times.

According to vaccination conditions reviewed by Duke University, as of February 8, the EU has prescribed enough doses to vaccinate its people more than twice, and is about five times more than what Canada needs if everyone needs two measurements. The U.S. has seized 2.6 billion doses, nearly a quarter of the world’s supply to date – to cover 396 percent of their population.

Tao Lina, a Shanghai – based vaccine expert, previously told the Global Times that it is natural for rich countries to avoid COVAX and buy pre – vaccines directly with their manufacturers.

“But you don’t have to vaccinate. It takes a country weeks even months to administer millions of doses. If rich countries are willing to share extra doses that they would not use in one month with developing countries, the situation will be much better for the latter, ”suggested Tao.

However, it is a problem that COVAX is supported by international organizations such as the WHO, but these international organizations do not have the power of action over any country, so it is difficult to rich countries have followed COVAX guidelines, Tao said.

For COVAX to succeed, the Lancet report said it needs huge funding to buy vaccines. In February 2021, governments and other partners have pledged around $ 4 billion in funding for COVAX, but Gavi and WHO estimate that a further $ 6.8 billion will be needed for COVAX to co. -to receive and deliver at least 2 billion doses by the end of 2021.

Zhuang Shilihe, a vaccine expert based in Guangzhou, told the Global Times that greater vaccine distribution depends on countries’ ability to buy them. Vaccines naturally go to rich countries that could afford the bill as poor countries struggle for vaccines through COVAX.

COVAX is a unique scheme that balances the circulation of vaccines around the world, however, a number of factors such as poor countries’ lack of funding to purchase vaccines mean that the scheme cannot operate in a timely manner, Zhuang said.

The underlying issue is a shortage of vaccine supply, the expert said, adding that unfair vaccine circulation may not be addressed in 2021.

A successful solution to the product bottle may require a widespread technology shift to allow for the expansion of manufacturing capacity, according to a Friday Lancet report.

At present, very few countries have the domestic capacity to produce COVID-19 vaccines on their own and instead need companies to actively share knowledge, technology and data with domestic manufacturers, he said. the report noted.

Some major vaccine developers have reached such cooperation with manufacturers in middle and low-income countries.

The Chinese representative Sinovac previously told the Global Times that it is now sending out semi-finished vaccines to countries that are able to fill and package doses. It not only reduces pressure on Chinese production facilities, but also saves international transportation costs and significantly improves access to vaccines.

Zhang warned that the worst outcome of the situation is that some countries could make a compulsory license to make up demand for vaccines as sex drugs in India. “It could happen if some countries have difficulty getting vaccines. ”

Chinese experts said that China is open to sharing and transferring technology, but a problem is that not all countries may be able to set up a production line.

The Global Times learned from Chinese vaccine representatives that there are two parts to the production line of inactivated vaccines: a virus cultivation workshop and a hard preparation workshop.

Throughout the process, there are hundreds of factors that should be tested to ensure the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine.

All stages of vaccine production must be carried out in workshops that have been certified as Good Manufacturing Practice. Countries without such workshops would not be able to ensure the quality of the vaccines they produce, Feng Duojia, president of the China Vaccine Industry Association, previously told the Global Times.

The high cost of building coronavirus vaccine product lines would also prevent some countries from making vaccines on their own, but they would rather wait for COVAX distribution or buy jabs from other countries, experts said.

Moving technology to make vaccines could be a solution to balance the worldwide distribution of vaccines, and it may be better to transfer technology to countries with the potential for high productivity. moved to make up for vaccine shortages, a Beijing – based gynecologist told the anonymous Global Times on Sunday.