Covid-19: Rich countries have reserved more than half of upcoming vaccine doses

According to the NGO Oxfam, part of the world population will have difficulty finding vaccines, pre-purchased by the richest countries. A vaccine that Donald Trump announces for October.

Half of future doses have been pre-empted by countries representing only 13% of the world’s population. (Photo Vincenzo PINTO / AFP)

AFP

Future vaccines to fight the new coronavirus virus are more than ever a campaign argument for the presidential election in the United States, as the NGO Oxfam accuses rich countries in a report of having reserved more than half doses to come at the expense of the rest of the world.

US President Donald Trump thus assured Wednesday that the world’s largest economy would have a vaccine in October, which will be widely distributed to the population. Statements that go against the opinions expressed by health experts.

Asked Congress, the director of the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), Robert Redfield estimated earlier today that the majority of Americans could not benefit from a vaccine until “the second or third trimester of 2021 ”, even if it was authorized in the coming weeks. An “error” according to Mr. Trump who sees it as “incorrect information”.

“The first responsibility of a president is to protect the American people and he does not do it”, asserted his side the democratic candidate Joe Biden during a speech Wednesday in his stronghold of Wilmington, in Delaware. Donald Trump’s management of the virus “totally disqualifies him”, he said.

13% of the population, 50% of vaccines

In the wake of the United States, which has signed several contracts with laboratories to guarantee the delivery of the first available doses, several rich countries, including the United Kingdom, the European Union and Japan, followed the same way, according to a report by the NGO Oxfam. These countries, representing 13% of the world’s population, have pre-purchased half of future doses of Covid-19 vaccines, the organization calculates.

The logic of these countries is to source as a precaution from multiple competing manufacturers, in the hope that at least one of their vaccines will prove effective. But the report urgently underlines the difficulty that part of the world population will have in finding vaccines in the initial period, while an international pooling device called Covax, supported by the World Health Organization (WHO), is boycotted by Washington and lacks funding.

According to Oxfam, contracts have already been signed with five of these manufacturers in phase 3 of clinical trials for 5.3 billion doses, of which 51% for developed countries.

The rest has been pledged to developing countries including India (where giant manufacturer Serum Institute of India is located), Bangladesh, China, Brazil, Indonesia and Mexico, according to Oxfam.

A “vaccine nationalism” denounced by multiple public health officials, and by the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen in a speech Wednesday morning before the European Parliament.

Europe facing the second wave

Especially since the pandemic continues to have a major impact on societies. The World Bank estimated on Wednesday that it could erase the significant progress made in the past decade in education and health, especially in the poorest countries.

New Zealand announced for its part to have entered into recession Thursday, after a historic drop of 12.2% of its GDP in the second quarter, after a decline of 1.6% observed in the first three months of the year.

A cost also political, especially in Europe, where a survey carried out during the summer but published Thursday underlined a deterioration in the confidence of Italians in the European Union, 44% of them affirming that their confidence in the Europe has declined with the crisis, in particular due to the lack of solidarity within the Union.

A Europe now facing the second wave, with nearly 10,000 new cases listed in France in 24 hours, very close to its record since the launch of large-scale tests.

A situation which pushed Germany to place Hauts-de-France (north) in the list of regions at risk, along with the European capitals Vienna and Budapest.

In Spain, the region of Madrid, the epicenter of the rebound of the epidemic in the peninsula, for its part plans to reconfigure certain areas of the city or the region recording the most fault increase in the number of contaminations.

According to the latest report established by AFP from official sources on Wednesday at noon, the pandemic caused by the coronavirus has killed more than 936,000 people worldwide since the end of December, while more than 29.6 million cases contamination were diagnosed.

The United States is the most bereaved country with 196’661 dead, followed by Brazil (134’106), India (82’066) which has exceeded the 5 million mark, Mexico (71 ‘ 678) and the United Kingdom (41’664).

(AFP/NXP)

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