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.
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.
@imago images / ZUMA Wire
As a vaccine nationalist, best taken care of
President Donald Trump’s hopes for a vaccine before the US elections have not come true. But the USA is a prime example of “vaccination nationalism” as condemned by WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Washington has secured at least 800 million vaccine doses for its own population – with the option of a further 900 million and widely spread among the front runners in vaccine development: Astra Zeneca, Johnsen & Johnsen, Moderna, Novavax, Pfizer / Biontec and Sanofi / Glaxo Smith Kline. Trump’s challenger Joe Biden promises the Americans free vaccinations against the Covid-19 pathogen.
@imago images / Hans Lucas
European Union: more weight together
The EU Commissioners Schinas and Kyriakides present the EU’s vaccination strategy in the corona crisis to the press in Brussels. After the EU member states had started to secure access to the largest possible vaccine contingents individually, the EU Commission pushed forward with its own plan. More than a billion cans have been pre-ordered from Astra Zeneca, Sanofi / GSK and Johnson & Johnson. Together they are better protected against failure and can secure advantages, it was said in Brussels. You have to spread risks and bundle investments. Germany has handed over contract negotiations with vaccine manufacturers to Brussels. “We want production in Europe, but for the benefit of Europe and the rest of the world,” says a Commission paper.
@imago images / Xinhua
WHO cares about global solidarity
The first thing in August was the Ethiopian WHO director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned against vaccination nationalism. The WHO is leading the Covax project with the public-private vaccination alliances Gavi and Cepi, which are partly funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. It seems to have signed deals for 500 million cans so far. The aim is to buy two billion vaccine doses by the end of 2021. Participating countries can buy vaccines from Covax or get them free of charge if required. Around 90 industrialized and emerging countries as well as 92 low-income countries should be able to participate and receive awards.
@imago images / VXPictures.com
Britons secure five doses of vaccine per inhabitant
Vaccination opponents and corona skeptics protest in London’s Trafalgar Square. The British government has reserved most of the vaccine doses per inhabitant against the coronavirus – now in the crisis outside the EU: With 340 million units that is five per inhabitant. London has also diversified and signed agreements with six different manufacturers, including the American vaccine developer Novavax and the Belgian manufacturer Janssen, a subsidiary of the US company Johnson & Johnson.
@imago images / Xinhua
Japan hopes for vaccine to save the Olympics
The Japanese government is funding a domestic vaccine development under the leadership of Osaka University with sums of millions. At the same time, however, she is protecting herself abroad and has reserved almost 300 million vaccine doses for three potential winners of the race for a vaccine: Astra Zeneca, Pfizer and Moderna. With the help of a timely immunization of the population, the government hopes to hold the Summer Olympics, which has been postponed to 2021, and to welcome guests from all over the world. The picture shows the Tokyo Aquatics Center built for the games.
@imago images / The Photo Access
Mexico and Argentina sign deal for the region
Demonstrators in Mexico City support their President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO), who was ailing in the Corona crisis. Mexico’s President and his Argentine colleague Alberto Fernandez have agreed with Astra Zeneca to manufacture 150 million vaccine doses against the Covid 19 pathogen in Argentina for the region at the biotechnology company mAbxience of the INSUD Group – with an additional option of 400 million. The foundation of the Mexican entrepreneur and billionaire Carlos Slim has apparently donated for it. The Latin America and Caribbean region has the highest corona death rate worldwide.
@imago images / Cris Faga
Brazil relies on vaccine “made in China”
Lecturers in Sao Paolo protest against lectures without vaccination. With more than five million recorded diseases, Brazil is the country hardest hit by the Corona crisis after the USA and India. The federal government has now reached an agreement for 46 million doses of the Chinese vaccine development CoronaVac, which is being tested in its own country. President Bolsonaro doesn’t seem entirely happy about this. He tweeted that Brazilians weren’t anyone’s guinea pig. For its immunization program, the country is also negotiating with Astra Zeneca and has joined Covax.
@imago images / ZUMA Wire
China is hoping for the largest possible vaccine market
The Chinese product from Sinovac Biotech was presented at the international trade fair CIFTIS in Beijing in September. But there are other vaccine candidates well ahead in the race. Since then, China has announced that it will join the international Covax initiative, guarantee its quotas, and thus advocate fair global distribution, especially to developing countries. President Xi Jinping had previously announced that the People’s Republic would declare the vaccine a public global good and – after immunizing its own people – distribute it in Africa.
@imago images / AAP
Australia relaxes corona restrictions after four months
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has secured more than 40 million doses of vaccine from pharmaceutical giant Astra Zeneca as soon as crucial clinical trials in the UK, USA, Brazil and South Africa are successfully completed. The group has a branch in Sydney, which is expected to supply the country in large quantities from 2021. The biotechnology company CSL is also said to produce millions of vaccine doses, with many hopes resting on the development of the University of Queensland. As a precaution, Australia has also joined the Covax initiative, which is making preliminary agreements with various vaccine candidates.