The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide has exceeded 100 million, which is the darkest moment for mankind.
The whole world is looking forward to relying on a vaccine to get out of the darkness.
However, developed countries in Europe and the United States have taken advantage of financial advantages to hoard and even compete for vaccines at high prices, resulting in “difficult to find a dose of vaccines” in low-income countries such as Africa.
One of the vaccine “fights” took place between the United Kingdom and the European Union, which had just “broken”.
Recently, AstraZeneca, a British-based pharmaceutical company, announced that it would cut the supply of vaccines previously promised to the EU, causing strong dissatisfaction in the EU.
On the 22nd, AstraZeneca announced that due to the reduction of production capacity at one of its production bases in Europe, vaccine delivery to the European Union will be reduced by 60% in the first quarter, from the original 80 million doses to 31 million doses.
As for the UK, where the company is headquartered, the CEO of AstraZeneca said that the UK government’s goal of vaccinating 15 million people by mid-February will still be achieved.
On the 26th, AstraZeneca explained that the agreement it signed with the British government three months earlier than the EU, but it was obvious that the EU could not agree with it.
Brussels European Commission Committee on Health and Food Safety Kiriaquides: (AstraZeneca) The inability to ensure production capacity is contrary to the content of the agreement and the spirit of the contract between the two sides.
We reject the so-called “first come, first served” logic.
In response to AstraZeneca’s reduced delivery of vaccines, some EU member states advocate a strong response.
Italy and Poland have warned that legal action may be taken against AstraZeneca.
On the other hand, the European Commission said on the 25th that the European Union will establish a “transparent mechanism” for the export of coronavirus vaccine.
According to this mechanism, pharmaceutical companies producing coronavirus vaccines in the EU region must notify the EU in advance of their exports of vaccines to countries and regions outside the EU.
The BBC reported that the Pfizer vaccine ordered by the UK mainly comes from production plants in Belgium, and this mechanism may affect the delivery of Pfizer vaccine to the UK.
“America First” is again postponed. European vaccine orders have been postponed.
It is also the United States and Europe that started the “competition” for vaccines.
U.S. President Biden said on January 26 that the United States will buy a large number of coronavirus vaccines to move towards the goal of universal vaccination, and called this supply “wartime effort”.However, the United States is now one of the countries that buy vaccines the most in the world, after promising vaccines to Europe and other countries, either delay delivery or reduce the dosage.
U.S. President Biden: This is “wartime effort”. When I say “wartime”, people may ask “wartime”? Yes, 400,000 Americans have died.
Biden said on the same day that the U.S. government will buy another 200 million doses of coronavirus vaccine to be in place this summer, and increase the plan to distribute 8.6 million doses a week to 10 million doses from next week, enough to allow 300 million Americans to vaccine before the end of summer and early autumn. The supply guarantee of this vaccine is what he calls “wartime efforts”. “.
According to the Washington Post, the U.S. government will purchase an additional 100 million doses of vaccines from Pfizer and Modena, which increases the total supply of vaccines in the United States from 400 million to 600 million doses.
Former U.S. President Trump signed a decree last December. Fearing about insufficient injections for the initial coronavirus vaccine, the U.S. government will give priority to vaccination to U.S. citizens before the vaccine begins to be exported, and then shipped to other countries.
Today, the number of vaccines in the United States is accompanied by a reduction or delay in the supply of vaccines promised by American pharmaceutical companies to European countries.
EU member states launched coronavirus vaccination one month ago, and Pfizer temporarily reduced vaccine delivery to Europe in the middle of this month, communization of a Belgian production plant adjusting vaccine production capacity.
Some EU countries have had to adjust their vaccination plans. Madrid, the capital of Spain, announced on the 27th that due to the insufficient supply of coronavirus vaccine, the first dose of coronavirus vaccine will be suspended for the next 15 days.
Many EU countries strongly protested this, and the Italian government has sent an official warning letter to Pfizer, demanding that Pfizer perform its delivery contract.
Alcuri, an official of the Italian Coronavirus Emergency Committee: Unfortunately, the dose of vaccine we received from Pfizer this week has been reduced by 29%. We were told that there would be another 20% reduction next week. This delay and reduction will continue. This is Pfizer’s unilateral decision, and it was temporarily notified to us.
In addition, the French government also said that France may impose sanctions on Pfizer due to the delay in the delivery of the coronavirus vaccine. The German Ministry of Health has appealed to Pfizer to abide by its commitments on the delivery volume and date of COVID-19 vaccine.
Israel leads the vaccination. Palestine “waits”
Developed countries in Europe and the United States are competing to buy vaccines, which has had a serious impact on other countries’ access to vaccines. People in developed countries are still hesitating to vacculate, but in other countries, people can only look at it. The situation of Israel and Palestine is a clear example.
In late December 2020, Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine was officially approved for sale in Israel. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu even said that Israel may become the first country to emerge from the haze of the coronavirus epidemic.
At present, Israel’s ability to vaccinate against the novel coronavirus vaccine per day remains at more than 150,000 doses, and nearly 2.8 million people have been vaccinated. It accounts for about one-third of Israel’s total population of 8.5 million.
Nurse Mihashi: I believe in this vaccine very much. I got my second shot this week.
But even though vaccination speeds lead the world, Israel has been criticized by many parties for some practices. Recently, Israel’s Ministry of Health has thrown away millions of doses of expired vaccines, but is unwilling to vaccinate about 5 million Palestinians in the occupied area.
United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Thor Wenneslan: The United Nations continues to call on Israel to help Palestinians in the occupied areas meet their priority needs and increase the use of the coronavirus vaccine more widely, which is essential for the two governments to control the epidemic and is an obligation imposed on Israel by international law.
For a long time, Palestinians living in the occupied area have not only had difficulty in accessing normal health care services, but also were not allowed to develop their own health care systems. Therefore, during the coronavirus epidemic, vaccines can only be purchased from other countries with overstretched funds.
Palestinian health authorities announced on the 27th that they would receive the “first batch” of coronavirus vaccines from Russia in mid-February, and until then, all they could do was wait.
“Number” says the global gap in the distribution of coronavirus vaccines
This vaccine distribution gap is not only in Israel and Palestine. Globally, the uneven distribution of COVID-19 vaccines between high-income and low-income countries is obvious.
According to data released by the World Health Organization recently, about 50 countries around the world have received a total of about 40 million doses of coronavirus vaccine, most of which are high-income countries.
According to statistics of AFP on the 27th, about 31% of Israel’s population has been vaccinated with at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine, which is about 10% in the United Kingdom and 6% in the United States.
According to the data of the People’s Vaccine Alliance, which is a joint venture of many international organizations such as Oxfam, Canada has the largest order for coronavirus vaccines according to the proportion of the population, enough to vaccinate all the country five times per person.
In contrast, 30 low-income and 37 low- and middle-income countries around the world can only obtain vaccines through the WHO-led Coronavirus Vaccine Implementation Plan (COVAX), and 90% of the population of these countries will not be vaccinated in 2021.
According to a report released by the British Economist Think Tank on the 27th, at least 85 countries in Africa, Latin America and Asia may not have access to a vaccine of sufficient size by 2023.
World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Tedros has pointed out without naming that a low-income country in Africa has only received 25 doses of the coronavirus vaccine so far.
Many parties warned “vaccine nationalism” and urged not to hoard
Vaccines are considered to be hopeful of curbing the pandemic. Only if a sufficiently high proportion of the global population is protected by vaccines can it be possible to block the transmission chain of the virus.
Therefore, vaccine distribution not only determines whether the most vulnerable people in countries can be protected as soon as possible, but also relates to when the world can overcome the epidemic.
On the 26th, many parties once again urged rich countries not to overstock up on coronavirus vaccines.
Director-General of the World Health Organization Tedros Tedros: Rich countries have started vaccination, while those least developed countries can only watch and wait.
Vaccine nationalism may help achieve short-term political goals, but supporting the equitable distribution of vaccines is in the interest of all countries. If the fair distribution of vaccines is not achieved, the world will be in a disastrous moral decline.
Moti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, said last week that due to bilateral agreements between some countries to buy coronavirus vaccines, the large amount of vaccines have been hoarded and the price of vaccines has been pushed up, which will greatly affect African countries’ recovery from the epidemic.
In Africa, Guinea is the only low-income country that provides coronavirus vaccine to its own people, and only 25 people in the country have been vaccinated.
WHO Regional Director for Africa Morty: Many countries are eager and determined to obtain a coronavirus vaccine as soon as possible. African countries are concerned about the vaccine problem, and hope that the pre-order of millions of doses of vaccines in rich countries will not adversely affect Africa’s access to vaccines.
In addition, South African President Ramaphosa said that the hoarding behavior of some countries does not take into account other countries that are most in urgent need of vaccines, so that the world will not be able to get rid of the threat of the virus.
(South Africa) President Ramaphosa of South Africa: If only people in some countries have been vaccinated, and people in other countries have not been vaccinated, the world cannot escape the threat of the virus.