The richest countries in the world already bought over 80 percent of US pharmaceutical company Pfizer’s potential COVID-19 vaccine, an analysis of a UK campaign group said.
The Global Justice Now analysis showed that rich governments already purchased more than 1 billion doses of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine. These nations represent only 14 percent of the global population.
“The U.S. has purchased 100 million doses with an option to buy 500 million, enough to potentially immunize its entire population against the coronavirus with hundreds of millions of doses left over. Since Monday, Pfizer has also sold 40 million doses to the U.K. and 200 million doses to the E.U., with an option to buy 100 million more,” Julia Conley reported in WallStreetWindow.
The British campaign group Global Justice Now said that German manufacturer BioNTech, Pfizer’s partner in developing the vaccine, has received financing of €375 million ($441 million) from the German government and €100 million ($117 million) from the European Investment Bank.
World’s richest nations already bought 80% of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine
“Pfizer claims not to have had any state support, but the advance purchase of a billion doses of an unproven drug, not to mention the tax breaks and direct public funding of Pfizer’s partner suggests their claim is misleading at best,” said Global Justice Now director Nick Dearden. “Unless we break the stranglehold of these massive corporations over our medicines, the injustice will continue.”
Global Justice Now added that Pfizer is likely to give some COVID-19 vaccine doses to developing countries through the World Health Organization’s Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access Facility (COVAX). However, those doses are expected to make up a small number of those manufactured by Pfizer.
“You couldn’t get a clearer example of how unequal the pharmaceutical system is—some make billions of pounds, while many others die because they cannot afford treatments or there are no more left for them to buy,” Dearden said. “It’s got to change.”
“It is imperative that we end the vaccine nationalism and that sufficient supply is made available to all, on a fair basis, as a matter of urgency,” said Dearden. “That can be helped by supporting governments like South Africa and India who are trying to suspend intellectual property rules at the WTO during this global emergency.”