Vaccine inequality makes the Covid-19 epidemic difficult to end

Scientists warn the Covid-19 vaccine will not help end the pandemic unless all countries receive a product quickly and fairly.

In an open letter to the Lancet Medical journal, the authors, health experts, said vaccine stockpiling in rich countries would only prolong a global health emergency. They warn “vaccine nationalism” could cause the Covax initiative to bring vaccines to low- and middle-income countries facing major shortages over the next few years.

Author Olivier Wouters from the London School of Economic and Political Science says the reality is clear that the world now needs more Covid-19 vaccines than any other vaccine in history to vaccinate enough people, to qualify community translation. Unless this commodity is distributed more equitably, according to the author, it may take years before nCoV is controlled on a global level.

Although more than twenty Covid-19 vaccines are being developed or approved for use, lower income countries still face major logistical challenges in purchasing vaccine products and supplying them. citizen.

These constraints include the lack of funds to purchase vaccines, as well as the inadequate infrastructure for transport and storage, especially with mRNA vaccines that need to be kept very low during delivery. .

Although huge amounts of money in both the public and private sectors are poured into vaccine development and purchase, the Covax Initiative is estimated to still need an additional $ 6.8 billion by 2021 to secure supplies to 92 poor countries and medium.

Medical staff vaccinated Covd-19 of Pfizer / BioNtech to people in Petah Tikva city, Israel today 1/2. Image:AFP.

Based on available sales figures, the authors say rich countries, with 16% of the global population, have purchased 70% of the available vaccine – enough to inject their citizens multiple times.

Co-author Mark Jit from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine said, this way rich countries will be able to apply widespread vaccination to their people, while vaccinating medical staff. Economic groups and high-risk groups in poor countries are very difficult.

The letter urges manufacturers to accelerate technology transfer to developing countries to help them produce domestically, as well as to control prices for today’s expensive Covid-19 vaccines.

The vaccines developed by China, India and Russia, once authorized by the World Health Organization, could be of great help to poor countries as they are simpler to provide and maintain, the authors say. , compared with selections from the US or Europe.

Bao Chau (Follow AFP)


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