Human rights group Amnesty International has warned that only one in 10 people in poor countries are set to receive Covid-19 vaccines in 2021, while rich nations have “hoarded” three times the amount of shots they need.
Amnesty International is part of an alliance of human rights organizations called The People’s Vaccine, which published the alarming report on Wednesday.
The worst offender is Canada, the organization said, noting it would be able to vaccinate its population of nearly 38 million population five times, that’s if all the vaccines it has bought up are approved for use.
The group of organizations said rich nations representing just 14 percent of the world’s population have bought up 53 percent of all the most promising vaccines.
The situation would leave 67 poorer states able to only cover 10 percent of their population unless governments and the pharmaceutical industry take urgent action.
The organizations examined data analyzing the deals secured between countries and the manufacturers of eight leading vaccine candidates to come to their conclusions.
Amnesty notes that just five of the 67 poor countries on its list – Kenya, Myanmar, Nigeria, Pakistan and Ukraine – have reported nearly 1.5 million cases of Covid-19 between them.
Earlier this year, the World Health Organization warned that a coronavirus vaccine must be “a global public good” and expressed hope that 2 billion doses would be delivered by the end of 2021.
There are currently more than 150 vaccines against the coronavirus being developed across the world, but only a handful look set to be used. Mass vaccination has started in the UK with the recently approved Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, and in Russia, with the country’s Sputnik V jab.
UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Tuesday he hoped that the vaccine developed by British-Swedish AstraZeneca may also be approved this year. However, the drug’s recently published trial results left many questions hanging, as its two test groups provided strikingly dissimilar efficacy results, having been administered different doses.
The total number of Covid-19 infections around the world has exceeded 68 million cases with more than 1.5 million dead.
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