COVID-19: States must take immediate action and deliver surplus vaccines now, not next year
In response to today’s Global Covid-19 Summit: Ending the Pandemic and Building Back Better, where US President Biden and EU President von der Leyen announced new commitments to donate an additional 900 million to low and lower-middle income countries by September 2022, Amnesty International’s Secretary General Agnès Callamard, said:
“Fair access to Covid-19 vaccines across the world is our only pathway out of this crisis so we welcome the news that the USA and the EU have committed to new targets in the fight against this pandemic.
“Ensuring everyone in all countries, rich and poor, can be vaccinated is an essential goal to keep us all safe, but the world is already miles off track from the World Health Organization’s current target of ensuring 40% of people in lower-income countries are vaccinated by the end of this year.
“Yes, today’s summit produced large pledges of vaccines that will eventually save lives, but inexplicably delays delivering the vast majority of them until well into 2022. Why wait to act when hundreds of millions of doses are available today and people are dying right now?
Why wait to act when hundreds of millions of doses are available today and people are dying right now?
“The US and EU have together pledged over 1.6 billion vaccine doses – but not until far into 2022. With the right level of urgency and political will, a huge number of these doses could be shared in the next few months – especially as they are projected to be sitting on around 900 million surplus doses by the end of the year.
“Other countries such as UK, Canada and Japan must also step up and make much more ambitious contributions if they are to get serious about meeting the WHO goal for 2021.
“It is essential states and companies work together to deliver 2 billion vaccines to lower-income countries by the end of this year and Amnesty International is calling for a concrete plan detailing when the vaccines are going to be shared and where. If immediate action isn’t taken now, millions more lives will be lost.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
Today marks 100 days until the end of the year and Amnesty International is launching its’ new campaign, 100 Day Countdown: 2 billion Covid-19 vaccines now!.
The organization is calling on states and pharmaceutical companies to deliver 2 billion vaccines to those who need it most starting now, to ensure that the World Health Organisation’s target of vaccinating 40% of the population of low and lower-middle income countries by the end of the year is met.
Projections from data science company Airfinity estimate that the EU, UK, US, Canada, Japan and China are currently sitting on over 500 million surplus vaccine doses – a figure that will rise to over 1.5 billion by the end of the year on current trends.
Over 5 billion vaccines are projected to be produced worldwide between September and December 2021.