Nearly 70 poor countries will only be able to vaccinate one in ten people against COVID-19 next year unless urgent action is taken by governments and the pharmaceutical industry to make sure enough vaccine doses are produced, charitable organization Oxfam warned today.
At the time when Covid-19 has ravaged the whole world, the wait for the development of the vaccine is almost over and some countries have started the vaccination process.
Many companies are in the race of developing the COVID-19 vaccine. This race has stocked a debate on how much the vaccine will cost and who will pay for it as prices range from $3 to more than $30 per dose.
According to the famous organization Oxfam, only one out of ten persons would be in a position to receive the Covid vaccine in the 67 poor countries of the world.
A lot of international organizations and the personalities of international repute like Bill Gates have been asking that the price of the vaccine must be in the range of poor countries too.
People briefed talks between drugmakers and European Commission say that AstraZeneca has sold its vaccine at about $3 to $4 per dose in the deal with the European Union while the Johnson and Johnson shot and the vaccine jointly developed by Sanofi and GSK have come in at about $10 per doze. Moderna a newer company has sought to pitch its vaccine at about $50 to $60 for two dozes.
Pressure from civil society and media reports have pushed some companies to disclose projected list prices with Moderna doing so in August and publishing a maximum price tag of $37 per doze. One of the Chinese vaccine frontrunners, Sinovac old its vaccine in selected cities at $60 for two dozes as part of an emergency use program.
The question is: whether pharmaceutical companies should work with the rich countries to ensure charges to poor nations are capped. Mr. Bill Gates told the FT drug companies should support a system whereby rich countries subsidize vaccines so that poor nations pay $3 or even less per doze.