Over 1 million COVID deaths in 4 months since G7 leaders failed to break vaccine monopolies – World
At current immunization rates, low-income countries would wait 57 years for everyone to be fully immunized
More than a million people have died from COVID since the last G7 leaders’ meeting in February, when they made vague promises to increase the global supply of vaccines, but most importantly did not collectively support the waiver intellectual property rules and investing in vaccine manufacturing in developing countries that would make a real difference.
As G7 health ministers meet today for talks ahead of the Leaders’ Summit next week, the People’s Vaccine Alliance calls on the G7 to stop making empty promises and protect the interests of pharmaceutical companies, and to take urgent action instead to fill the massive vaccine vacuum. between their nations and the poorest countries.
New calculations from the Alliance, which include Health Justice Initiative, Oxfam and UNAIDS, found that last month, people living in G7 countries were 77 times more likely to be offered a vaccine than those living in countries the poorest in the world. Between them, the G7 countries were vaccinating at a rate of 4.6 million people per day in May, which means that if this rate continues, all inhabitants of the G7 countries should be fully immunized by January 8. 2022. At the current rate – immunizing 63,000 people per day – it would take 57 years for low-income countries to achieve the same level of protection.
Of the 1.77 billion doses of COVID vaccines administered worldwide, 28% were administered in G7 countries. In contrast, only 0.3% of COVID vaccines have been administered in low-income countries, despite the fact that the G7 and low-income countries have a similar population size.
Fatima Hassan, founder and director of the Health Justice Initiative in South Africa, said: “Eight people have died from COVID every minute since the last meeting of G7 leaders. That’s more than a million lives lost, as only a few countries, including the UK and Germany, continue to block proposals to waive patents on COVID-19 vaccines and treatments, which would allow every qualified manufacturer in the world to produce vaccines instead of a handful. American and European pharmaceutical companies.
“Whatever the G7’s commitments and promises, they always let the pharmaceutical companies decide who lives and who dies, unless they support ending these monopolies on COVID vaccines. “
While some G7 members say they have done their part by pledging doses or funding to COVAX, the initiative, which was put in place to help developing countries access COVID vaccines, is failing massively. COVAX has delivered less than a third of the doses promised by the end of May and the Alliance has warned that at current rates it will likely only reach 10% of people at best in developing countries by the end of May. end of the year. .
Anna Marriott, Oxfam’s health policy manager, said: “It is obscene that the UK, Germany and other rich countries, which can immunize their own people, are preventing poor countries from manufacturing the doses. that they need to save lives.
“The sad reality is that developing countries cannot depend on COVAX or the goodwill of the pharmaceutical industry to save the lives of their people. G7 leaders should use this moment to side with the right side of history by giving their full support to the vaccine patent exemption backed by more than 100 countries. The G7 may be getting the vaccines they need, but too much of the world is not and people are paying for patent protection with their lives. “
Among the G7 countries, only the United States supports the WTO proposal to waive intellectual property rights. The UK and Germany oppose, while Canada, France, Japan and Italy sit on the fence. This despite the fact that the public strongly supports the idea, with polls showing that an average of 70 percent of people in G7 countries believe governments should make sure drug companies share their formulas. and their technology, so that qualified manufacturers around the world can help increase supply.
Dr Mohga Kamal-Yanni, Senior Health Policy Advisor with the People Vaccine Alliance, said: “The G7 must act now to force companies to share vaccine technology and know-how with skilled manufacturers in the world. developing countries to maximize supply.
“Last week, WHO relaunched its COVID-19 technology access pool to facilitate the sharing of vaccine technology, know-how and intellectual property. The G7 must show strong political support for the pool if it is serious about ending the pandemic. They are also to announce funding to support technology transfer and manufacturing in developing countries. Every day they delay is a day that lives could be saved.
For more information or interviews, please contact Tricia O’Rourke on 07825 920258 or [email protected]
Notes to Editors:
Since the last G7 leaders’ meeting for a virtual summit on February 19, 1,094,213 people have died from COVID, the equivalent of 8 people per minute, according to data from Our World in Data https://ourworldindata.org/covid-deaths
Data on vaccine supply and delivery comes from Airfinity, Our World in Data, UNICEF and the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control. Vaccination duration projections are based on the average vaccination rate from May 1 to May 25, 2021. Calculations were performed on May 26, 2021.
Together, the G7 countries vaccinate at the rate of 4,630,533 people per day. At this rate, it would take 227 days to fully immunize the entire population, until January 8, 2022, assuming everyone receives two doses. Collectively, low-income countries immunize at the rate of 62,772 people per day. At this rate, it will take them 57 years to vaccinate their entire population, until October 7, 2078, assuming everyone receives two doses.
According to new calculations made by the People’s Vaccine Alliance using our World in Data of May 25, 1,774,959,169 vaccines have been administered worldwide. People living in G7 countries received 497,150,151 of these vaccines (28%), their combined population is 774,917,290. People living in low-income countries received 5,481,470 vaccines (0.31% ), their combined population is 660,310,395.
For the month of May, 497.15 million doses were administered in G7 countries, distributed among 774 million people = 0.6423 doses per person, 5.48 million doses were administered in low-income countries split between 660 million people = 0.0083 doses per person, 0.6423 divided by 0.0083 = 77.4 – as a result, last month people in G7 countries were 77 times more likely to be vaccinated than those in poor countries.
The statistic that COVAX will only reach 10% of people in developing countries this year does not include India.
More information on the G7 opinion polls conducted by the People’s Vaccine Alliance can be found here: https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2021/05/an-average-of-7-in-10-across-g7-countries-think-their-governments-should-force-big- pharma-to-share-the-know-how /