Economy & Politics

Corona vaccine: These countries are already stocking up as a precaution

With the increasing number of cases, the hope of an early vaccine against Covid-19 is coming to the fore again.imago images / MiS

Anyone who thinks something of global responsibility sees it critically. Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Ghebreyesus warn of “vaccination nationalism”. In the pandemic that can only be solved globally, there should be no monopoly of the supply of vaccines. The fact is, however, that countries around the world have already secured large amounts of vaccine doses as a precautionary measure, which should protect against Covid-19 after approval.

An unprecedented mobilization of resources meanwhile has made it likely that vaccines against the coronavirus will be available anytime soon. Preparations for series production are in full swing – as are diplomatic efforts to ensure that more than a few countries can access the successful vaccines quickly and at great expense. A fair distribution is the goal. Starting with the USA, Great Britain, the EU and Japan, but have already reserved billions of vaccine doses for themselves.

For example, the campaign organization Oxfam has calculated, based on information on expected series capacities from the health data analysis company Airfinity, that the largest part of the foreseeable 5.9 billion doses of the five leading vaccine candidates (Astra Zeneca, Gamaleya / Sputnik, Moderna, Pfizer and Sinovac) will be available has already been contractually awarded: A little more than half have secured a small group of affluent countries and regions, which only make up 13 percent of the world’s population. The rest is promised to emerging and developing countries.

Against monopoly

To counter this trend towards pre-distribution, the Covax initiative also wants to enable poorer countries to start immunization as early as possible. The coordinator is the WHO, which is campaigning for support for the ACT project created under its umbrella – in short for Access to Covid-19 Tools. Its purpose is to ensure the fair distribution of tests, drugs and vaccines. The latter is specifically handled by the Covax Alliance, led by the Gavi vaccination alliance and the CEPI research alliance.

She wants to buy two billion cans and, for example, give priority to nursing and medical staff in Africa. Each of the 180 countries should initially only receive enough doses to immunize 20 percent of its population until all participating countries are supplied with these quantities.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation even commissioned a study on the benefits of equitable global distribution of Covid-19 vaccines. Northeastern University in Boston compared the scenario of a monopoly of around 50 affluent countries on two billion vaccine doses with a model of the proportional distribution according to population size regardless of purchasing power. According to the result, 61 percent of deaths could be prevented in the second “fair” calculation model, compared to 33 percent in the first.

According to experts, around 70 percent of the world’s population, or 5.6 billion people, will likely need to be vaccinated twice in order to achieve herd immunity and the virus to run out of sources of infection. Airfinity believes that vaccine production in the billions is not possible until 2022 at the earliest, while the major Indian manufacturer Serum Institute of India (SII) does not see an adequate supply for the whole world until 2024.

These are the countries that have secured the largest quantities of vaccines as a precaution. The information is based on evaluations by the ONE organization, which tracks the behavior of states and companies in favor of fair distribution.

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