The COVID-19 pandemic has become the biggest global catastrophe in recent years, but there finally seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel: vaccination.
Vaccines from companies such as Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Gamaleya-Sputnik, Sinovac and AstraZeneca have shown a high degree of effectiveness, greater than 90 percent, in preventing infections due to SARS-CoV-2. Yet more than half of those vaccines have already been «set aside» by a small group of 15 nations that represent the world’s largest economies.
A study by Oxfam, a global non-governmental organization, concluded that the purchase of 5.3 billion doses has been completed so far, of which 2.7 billion (51 percent) have been ordered by countries, territories and regions, including the United States. United Kingdom, European Union, Hong Kong and Macao, Japan, Switzerland and Israel.
The remaining 2.6 billion doses were acquired, or promised to be acquired, by developing countries such as India, Bangladesh, China, Brazil and Mexico, among others.
«Access to life-saving vaccines shouldn’t depend on where you live or how much money you have,» said Robert Silverman, Oxfam director.
Oxfam has urged that the vaccine be distributed free of charge and according to the needs of each country.
«That will only be possible if pharmaceutical corporations allow vaccines to be produced by sharing patents for free rather than protecting their monopolies and selling them to the highest bidder,» the organization explained.