Amnesty International has accused vaccine manufactures of being dishonest. They say only 1% of people in lower-income countries have been vaccinated compared to 55% of people in richer countries.
Executive Director for Amnesty International South Africa, Shenilla Mohamed says even during a major pandemic, corporates are focusing on profit over life. She also spoke of the richer countries that are hoarding vaccines.
A report released by Amnesty International titled A Double Dose of Inequality, states that by 2022, vaccination manufacturing companies would have earned approximately 130 Billion US dollars from Covid-19 vaccines.
Mohamed says although USA president Joe Biden and the European Union pledged 900 million vaccines to lower and middle-income countries, it is still not enough. She says that these countries need about 2 Billion doses of the life saving Covid-19 vaccines to reach the World Health Organisations goal of vaccinating 40%.
Joe Biden said that the USA will be donating 1.1 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines. He said, “for every one shot we've administered to date in America, we have now committed to do three shots to the rest of the world”.
She says that these vaccine pledges may come too late. “The other big challenge is that even these pledges are coming really late so if you look at the pledges today they're talking about sometime in 2022 towards the end of 2022, why aren't they releasing them now? what what is the delay? people are dying now we need those vaccines in these poorer and middle-income countries now”.
Mohamed says that while they are pleading with the Covid-19 vaccine manufacturing companies to donate these vaccines, the responsibility still falls on our government. She said, “our call is to the states and you know the reality is unless the states and the pharma companies start to behave differently there will be no end in sight for Covid-19”.
President Cyril Ramaphosa called on richer countries to stop hoarding vaccines. This was after it was revealed that of the 5 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines released globally, Africa received just 2%.
He said, “the gulf is widening between better-resourced nations who are buying up and even hoarding vaccines and developing countries who are struggling to have access to vaccines. Only two percent of these have been administered in Africa, a continent of more than 1.2 billion people. This must be unjust and it is also immoral”.
President Ramaphosa also called on vaccine manufacturers to wave intellectual property rights for the Covid-19 vaccines. He also thanked president Biden for supporting the proposal.