A handful of vaccine candidates are currently in late-stage trials Photo: AFP
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Rich nations snap up vaccine stocks in global race for jab

9 Comments

Rich nations representing a fraction of the global population have already bought up over half the promised COVID-19 vaccine stocks, a study showed, as U.S. President Donald Trump pledged to begin inoculating Americans within weeks.

Big pharma is racing to produce an effective jab to counter a virus that has now killed more than 935,000 people around the world and infected almost 30 million.

European Union chief Ursula von der Leyen on Wednesday warned against "vaccine nationalism" that she said could put lives at risk by depriving the most vulnerable in poorer nations of immunity.

But a study released by Oxfam showed a group of wealthy countries representing just 13 percent of the world population has already secured the lion's share of doses.

"Access to a life-saving vaccine shouldn't depend on where you live or how much money you have," said Robert Silverman of Oxfam America. "COVID-19 anywhere is Covid-19 everywhere."

The five leading vaccine candidates currently in late-stage trials will be able to supply 5.9 billion doses, enough to inoculate about three billion people, the Oxfam report said.

Some 51 percent of those jabs have been snapped up by the wealthy world, including the United States, Britain, the European Union, Australia, Hong Kong and Macau, Japan, Switzerland and Israel.

The remaining 2.6 billion have been bought by or promised to developing countries including India, Bangladesh, China, Brazil, Indonesia and Mexico.

Trump on Wednesday said he would begin rolling out a vaccine in America as soon as next month, contradicting doubts expressed by a top health expert in his administration who said a jab was unlikely to be widely available until mid-2021.

"We're very close to that vaccine as you know... We think we can start sometime in October" or shortly thereafter, Trump said.

Democrats have expressed concern that Trump is pressuring government health regulators and scientists to approve a rushed vaccine in time to help his uphill bid for re-election in early November.

"We're within weeks of getting it, you know -- could be three weeks, four weeks," the president told a town hall session with voters in Pennsylvania Tuesday.

But in an implicit swipe at Trump's America First approach to the pandemic, von der Leyen said Europe would support multilateral bodies such as the World Health Organization with its attempts at a more equitable rollout.

"None of us will be safe until all of us are safe -– wherever we live, whatever we have," she said. "Vaccine nationalism puts lives at risk. Vaccine cooperation saves them."

The global economy has been devastated by the pandemic, with many nations still maintaining restrictions on their populations to contain fresh outbreaks.

© 2020 AFP

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.


9 Comments

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Unproven with taxpayers money.

not against vaccines, but I’m for proper research. Some things take time, not capitalism or politics

11 ( +16 / -5 )

U.S. President Donald Trump pledged to begin inoculating Americans within weeks.

Curious how Trump interpreters will spin this to his antivax followers. How will the R's rapid response team, Qanon and others in the fringe/wack media be able to convince the antivaxxers their Trump's not siding with the alien reptiles trying to shoot them up with mind control medicines.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

so called anti-vax people wouldnt be taking it.

Speaking for myself, I just want an accepted vaccine so that liberals can stop politicizing corona and whining about that there isnt a vaccine yet. Then each person can choose if they take it or not.

Myself, I dont need a vaccine for something that only 0.02% of the population even got in the first place that few people die from without comorbidities that I dont have. I just want YOU to have a vaccine so you cant use the lack of one as a lame excuse to elect Joe Biden.

-7 ( +6 / -13 )

Or we could just wait until we reach herd 'mentality'. Never mind how many people die before we achieve that.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

no word that in Russia they already have vaccine...and in China as well.possibly JT just "did not know" abt that?

btw both countries have started vaccination already....

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Just because you deny it doesn't mean it's not true

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Wonderful that drug corporations can reap billions for vaccines which don’t yet exist.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

As long as they don't make it mandatory, they're welcome do what they want with their 'vaccine'. I'm pro-choice and each to their own. Others should take the jab if they believe it will help them, whereas people like me who won't go near it (mandatory or not) should have the option to say "No thanks".

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Yes thats the bad part of having a vaccine once we get one made.

How the government might try to force people to take it who dont want to by linking it to something we need or want. Like cant go to the movies without proof of vaccination, cant go school, cant travel, etc.

Another reason I dont want Dems in charge, I dont trust that they wont try to force everyone to take it once coronavirus has fulfilled their political purposes by its existence.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

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