Anglican Communion asks rich countries to share surplus vaccines
The Anglican Communion has added its voice to demands that rich nations urgently share their surplus vaccines to avoid the wastage of millions of doses.
The Anglican Health and Community Network said that, even with the booster shots and the ongoing vaccination of adolescents, the wealthiest countries were still on track to amass more than a billion doses of vaccine by the end of the year. end of the year.
Leaders of the network, which includes the Bishop of Hertford, Dr Michael Beasley, and the Bishop of Namibia, the Right Reverend Luke Pato, called on the G7 to act now. “Rich countries should not accumulate the accumulated surpluses, but should share,” they said. “The lives and health of millions of people around the world are at risk, along with the threat of new variants emerging on a global scale.
“Vaccines have expiration dates. If it is not put into people’s arms, a significant part of the surplus generated will have to be destroyed. High-income countries have pledged to donate more than a billion doses, but less than 15% of these have so far come to fruition.
“We call on all G7 governments and others to keep their promises and fully commit to global equity in vaccines. National vaccine surpluses must be shared fairly and efficiently, with waste avoided and lives saved. We are a human family. We can and must work together to end this pandemic, leaving no one behind. “
Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown said this week the world was facing a “vaccine waste catastrophe” and that the G7 needed a vaccine release plan to avert a “collective political tragedy”.
President Biden hosted a Covid-19 virtual summit on Wednesday to tackle vaccination and oxygen shortages around the world. At the summit, he announced that the United States would buy another half a billion doses of Pfizer’s vaccine to donate to the poorest countries. “America will become the arsenal of vaccines, just as we were the arsenal of democracy during World War II,” he said.
A study by scientific analysis firm Airfinity reported this week that the G7 and the EU will have a billion more doses than they need by the end of this year. And, because vaccines have a six-month expiration date, he estimates that 241 million doses will be wasted, unless they are redistributed to countries with dire shortages.
These surplus vaccine stocks, combined with pledged donations and COVAX shipments from the World Health Organization (WHO), are enough to immunize 70% of the population in low- and lower-middle-income countries, the World Health Organization (WHO) concluded. ‘study.
The largest national vaccine stock is the United States, which currently has a stockpile of 131 million doses. The UK has 29 million doses classified as ‘supplementary stock’.
The United States and the United Kingdom have both launched a booster vaccination program, although the WHO has asked countries to postpone the booster programs until the end of the year, in order to allow d other countries to vaccinate more of their populations.
Only two percent of the world’s poorest people have been vaccinated. In Africa, less than 4% of the population is fully vaccinated against Covid. The countries with the lowest vaccination levels and highest death rates from Covid are Namibia, Lesotho and Haiti.