We are seeing a global vaccine apartheid. People’s lives must come before profit | Winnie Byanyima

Posted by on January 29, 2021 2:45 am
Categories: Global Stories

The poorest countries are missing out on adequate doses of vaccines – and the health implications should concern us all

Nine months ago world leaders were queueing up to declare any Covid-19 vaccine a global public good. Today we are witness to a vaccine apartheid that is only serving the interests of powerful and profitable pharmaceutical corporations while costing us the quickest and least harmful route out of this crisis.

I am sickened by news that South Africa, a country whose HIV history should have taught us all the most appalling life-costing consequences of allowing pharmaceutical corporations to protect their medicine monopolies, has had to pay more than double the price paid by the European Union for the AstraZeneca vaccine for far fewer doses than it actually needs. Like so many other low- and middle-income countries, South Africa is today facing a vaccine landscape of depleted supply where it is purchasing power, not suffering, that will secure the few remaining doses.

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