The rich countries of the planet have bought enough COVID-19 vaccines to distribute doses to their population almost three times over in 2021, according to data published by a bloc of organizations made up of Oxfam, Amnesty International, Frontline AIDS, Global Justice Now, and others.
“Rich nations that represent only 14 percent of the world’s population have bought 53 percent of all the most promising vaccines so far,” says an Oxfam note on the matter, as new evidence of the greed and selfishness of the rich North.
On the other side of the coin, nine out of ten people living in poor countries will not be able to receive any immunization against COVID-19 next year, says a study by the People’s Vaccine Alliance.
The vaccines promoted by the West with the most publicized results are that of Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, and that of Oxford allied with AstraZeneca. Of these, 96 percent of Pfizer’s doses and all of Moderna’s have already been bought by rich countries. By contrast, vaccines from China and Russia have been purchased almost entirely by poor countries.
This scenario adds to a complex global health reality, because before the arrival of COVID-19, at least half of the people in the world did not have access to essential health services.
In this sense, we recall the efforts Venezuela is promoting to guarantee the distribution of vaccines among the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. Recently, in the framework of the 18th ALBA-TCP Summit, President Nicolás Maduro proposed that Venezuela and Cuba be in charge of the creation of a vaccine bank to fulfill that objective.
More than 50 countries have sent requests to the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) for 1.2 billion doses of the Sputnik V vaccine. The cost of the two required doses will be less than 20 dollars, ranking as one of the lowest prices on the international market.
The international players who are doing their best to make COVID-19 vaccines a global public good, affordable or free to the public, come from the emerging multipolar world.
Featured image: Rich countries have bought almost all the doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for next year (Photo: EFE).