Only one in seven doses of Covid vaccine promised to the world’s poorest countries has been delivered, a report reveals.
Of the 1.8 billion doses promised by rich countries, only 261 million (14%) reached low-income countries, according to analysis by the People’s Vaccinealliance, a coalition of groups including Oxfam, ActionAid and Amnesty International.
Almost a year after vaccines first became available, only 1.3% of people living in the poorest parts of the world are fully immunized.
The UK has pledged to send 100 million doses to the poorest countries, but has so far delivered 9.6 million, or less than 10%, according to the report. Canada delivered 3.2 million (8%) of the 40 million doses promised. The United States delivered the most doses – nearly 177 million. However, that still represents less than a fifth (16%) of the 1.1 billion jabs promised.
Meanwhile, of 994 million doses promised to Covax, a global vaccine delivery system, by Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Oxford / AstraZeneca and Pfizer / BioNTech, only 120 million (12%) have so far been delivered. , according to the report.
Robbie Silverman, of Oxfam, said the figures revealed “the failure of donations from rich countries and the failure of Covax”. He added: “The only way to end the pandemic is to share technology and know-how with other qualified manufacturers so that everyone, everywhere, can have access to these life-saving vaccines. “
The World Health Organization has publicly warned that it must be a global priority to deliver doses to developing countries before the end of this year. However, the report says rich countries are instead working on a schedule for delivering more doses at some point in 2022. The delay, the report warns, will result in unnecessary deaths.
Maaza Seyoum, African Alliance and People’s Vaccine Alliance Africa, said: “All over the world, health workers are dying and children are losing their parents and grandparents. With 99% of people in low-income countries still unvaccinated, we are fed up with too little too late. “
This week, activists demonstrated in Whitehall against the UK’s blocking of a Covid vaccine patent waiver.
India and South Africa have proposed that the World Trade Organization (WTO) suspend the application of patents for coronavirus vaccines and treatments so that inoculation can reach poorer countries.
The call was supported by more than 100 countries, human rights groups including Doctors Without Borders, Human Rights Watch and Oxfam, and figures such as Gordon Brown, the former British Prime Minister. They say no one is safe from the coronavirus until everyone is safe.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have also supported a separate but related campaign calling on G7 countries and the European Union to share at least 1 billion doses of the Covid vaccine with those most in need and to support calls for a waiver of intellectual property rights on vaccines.
But the UK, EU and Switzerland opposed the move.
Tim Bierley, of Global Justice Now, said the UK and others had “hampered efforts to increase the global vaccine supply, forcing countries in the South to rely on donations that were still too low and too late “.
A UK government spokesperson said: ‘The UK is proud to play a leading role in the global effort to create and distribute Covid-19 vaccines.
“The UK wants to move forward with pragmatic actions, including voluntary licensing and technology transfer agreements for vaccines, support for Covax and solutions to production bottlenecks and problems with Supply Chain. “