The chief executive of Pfizer Albert Bourla has pledged to provide enough doses of their COVID19 shot to meet the goal of the World Health Organization (WHO) to elevate equitable vaccine distribution across the world. He has said that the company has enough vaccine supply to meet the expectation of the WHO, while many pharmaceutical experts have been saying that an increased supply of vaccines will look like patent waivers are taken off the table. Pfizer is expected to deliver 41 percent of its vaccines to low and middle-income nations around the world towards the end of the year. On the other hand, Johnson & Johnson has pledged to ship more than 50 percent of doses of its single-dose COVID19 shot to poor countries across the world as production of the vaccine increases in the second half of this year. The CEO of Pfizer Albert Bourla has said that it is better to contribute to the WHO’s goal of vaccinating at least 10 percent of the population in each country of the world. Health experts have said that the donation of 200 million doses of Pfizer shots that has been proposed by the Biden government will be used to vaccinate nearly 15 to 18 percent of the population of 92 poorest nations across the world. In a conference of the global pharma industry association, Albert Bourla has said that by next year, the company will be able to offer enough doses to the WHO for their initiative. With enough doses, all countries around the world will have to address the same issues, as there will be many people who will be hesitant to take the shots.
Drugmakers have been protesting against the plan that has been proposed by South Africa and India to waive off intellectual property rights on COVID19 shots. The proposal has been supported by the United States as well. These countries have put forward this proposal in the hope of intensifying access to COVID19 vaccines for low and middle-income nations across the world. Albert Bourla has said that these shots have been designed by two visions, one is the original development, and the other is increased manufacturing. He has claimed that there is no point in transferring the technology as it is going to take years of effort. A new study that has been done by Airfinity, which is a life science analytics firm, has shown that developed nations own at least 500 million doses of COVID19 shots that might be distributed this month. These high-income countries will have nearly 1.1 billion doses by the end of this year, said the experts. However, these estimates do not talk about the supplies that are required to vaccinate teenagers and need to be stored for each nation to give booster shots to people who have already been immunized.
Health leaders have said that if western countries need to give booster shots only to those who are above 50 years and have been immunized with two doses, then, the surplus will increase twofold, which will be nearly 2.5 billion doses. The CEO of Airfinity, Rasmus Bech Hansen has said that the officials have estimated the surplus supply last month only as the production of the vaccines has shot up. He has said that earlier, government officials have been reluctant to acknowledge drugmakers’ predictions on supply due to setbacks in vaccine production and the supply chain. However now, vaccine makers such as Pfizer, AstraZeneca, and Moderna, who have come up with authorized COVID19 shots have shown consistent output. Hansen has said that in a situation where officials are unable to show confidence in future supply, stocking up is the best thing to do. However, looking at the current situation, when companies across the world are delivering the doses at a steady speed, there is no point in stocking up the supply.
Health leaders have claimed that the United States and European Union have massive total surpluses of doses; however, some western nations have many vaccines for their people as they have been trying to spread their bets. As per the latest report, the US and EU have signed contracts for five COVID19 vaccines each. The chief scientific officer of the Johnson & Johnson, Dr. Paul Stoffels has said that speeding up vaccination across the world will help fight against the new emerging variants of coronavirus as they might be able to dodge the antibodies that are derived from vaccines. He has said that it is essential to vaccinate as many people as possible at a faster pace as it will block the replication of the virus and the arrival of new variants in the world. The World Health Organization (WHO) has criticized many high-income nations for stockpiling COVID19 shots, treatment, and preventive medicines. The officials have said that it has derailed the WHO’s efforts to fairly distribute these resources across the world. The WHO has condemned global inequalities in COVID19 vaccination programs as immunization has started last year during winter.
The WHO has been advocating the equal distribution of doses in poorer countries as many high-income nations have already immunized most of their populations and have started offering booster shots as well. The technical chief of the COVID19 team at the WHO, Maria Van Kerkhove has said that the inequality in vaccination has elongated the pandemic. She has said that what these rich countries are doing is not just undue but it is immoral as well. Last month, the WHO has asked developed countries to halt the distribution of booster shots for at least two months. The global health agency has urged these countries to deflect their surplus doses to low-income countries to vaccinate at least 10 percent of the population of each nation across the world towards the end of this month. The WHO has pledged to immunize at least 40 percent of the world population by December 2021. As per the report, the US has already offered booster shots to more than 1.3 people. As per the data from the United Nations, France, and the UK as well have started distributing booster shots to their populations. On the other hand, only 3 percent of people in Africa have been fully vaccinated against COVID19 so far.