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We must do more of what doesn’t work!

Pharmaceutical companies should do more to transfer vaccine technology to prevent the poorest countries falling behind in the distribution of Covid-19 vaccines, according to an expert.

The warning came from Dag-Inge Ulstein, the co-chair of the global council trying to speed up access to Covid vaccines for the world’s poor, known as the Act (Access to Covid-19 Tools) Accelerator. Ulstein, Norway’s international development minister, oversees the drive to ensure vaccines reach the poor – the Covax programme.

His remarks were amplified by his global health ambassador, John-Arne Røttingen, who told the Guardian that the battle to create equal access to vaccines was “at a very important turning point”. Other diplomats fear that if the issue of vaccine distribution is not resolved, it will result in years of resentment between rich and poor nations.

Samantha Power, the new USAid director, has also admitted the scheme is not on track, and the WHO director general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, pointed out that only 25 people had been vaccinated in Africa compared with 39 million in rich countries, and said the world was on the “brink of a catastrophic moral failure”.

The Act Accelerator is aiming to distribute 2bn doses of vaccines by the end of 2021 to world’s 92 poorer countries. Those countries can buy from elsewhere if they wish, but are unlikely to have the cash, and outside the scheme the price is likely to be higher.

It is now forecast that only 27% of those living in poor and medium income countries will be vaccinated this year, but there are fears that something deeper may be going wrong. Detailed forecasts issued by Gavi, the global vaccine alliance, this week show Africa, a continent of 1.3 billion people, will only receive 140m doses by June through Covax.

So the task is badly handled by an international bureaucracy of tosspots. At which point we must give more power to, more money to, the international tosspots so they can handle matters more badly more.

Doesn’t sound like one of those reinforcing success plans, does it?

18 thoughts on “We must do more of what doesn’t work!”

  1. Pricing and distribution is a weird thing. The Astra_Oxford was supposed to be supplied at cost, so UK is paying about £3 a shot. But EU *belgian health minister says 3 euros. But they aren-t getting any. Pfizer about $15 to us, but this COVAX crowd is aiming for $40 a shot.
    I’ve read of Sinovac gettung some third world mugs to pay $140 for their crappy vaccine. I suppose some people are reassured that it’s been tested on humans. Political prisoners and Uighurs presumably.

  2. Other diplomats fear that if the issue of vaccine distribution is not resolved, it will result in years of resentment between rich and poor nations.

    That’ll be a novelty, won’t it?

  3. Third world countries’ demographics are much younger than first world; and they spend less time indoors. Not sure why they’d need a vaccine for a disease which mainly affects older people and is mostly transmitted in indoor unventilated spaces.

  4. Pharmaceutical companies produce expensive stuff for the pampered developed worlders. For the rest there’s, not Mastercard©, but Ivermectin.

  5. Outside of SA, has Africa been substantially hit by COVID? Good to see Dr WHO, a weapons-grade trougher and bribe-taker, lecturing us about our morals.

  6. Why all the twaddle about equality?

    If a pandemic is nasty enough (this one may be, but probably not) it would be to the advantage of the developed world that the Democratic Republic of Shitholia gets vaccinated too.

    How to organise it? Maybe the US armed forces could be sent to do it, which carries the extra advantage that they’d then be unavailable for stupid wars of aggression against any swarthy peoples who haven’t paid their shakedown money to the Biden gang.

  7. Bloke in China (Germany province)

    I don’t believe the 25 number for Africa. That doesn’t even cover all the El Presidentes, Papa Docs, Big Bwanas, and Kings of Scotland, let alone their wives, children, concubines, and hangers on.

  8. @ Bloke in China (Germany province)
    The 25 is the number of people vaccinated in Africa, not the number of Africans vaccinated. El Presidente will have been flown to China (or possibly a quiet hospital in USA if he’s pro-USA or has read the honest report on Sinovac) for his vaccination.

  9. As everyone feels so strongly about this why not use the UK’s overseas aid commitment for 2021 to pay for two doses of Astra’s finest for every African.

    That would still leave a few billion for desperately needed support to India’s space programme and Ethiopia’s spice girls.

  10. “The Act Accelerator is aiming to distribute 2bn doses of vaccines by the end of 2021 to world’s 92 poorer countries.”

    Hmmm… So somewhere between a third and half of the projected vaccine production capacity should be shunted to places where people drop dead of other diseases well before they even get close to any Risk Category for CoVid?

    CoVid is but a mere anecdote in a footnote in those places.

  11. Had a discussion about this with a friend and I pointed out given the WHO and UN pronouncements on increased poverty that maybe restarting the western economies quicker was more beneficial than diverting vaccines to places with a much lower average age that have had minimal Covid impact.
    Thankfully he’s able to appreciate that not everything is a simple binary decision and there are nuances to consider, apart from lockdown where my questioning of it is pure evil and makes him wonder if we can stay friends (something to thank the media for)

  12. Grauniad lying as usual. AZ must have *already* transferred the technology to SII if it is now manufacturing the vaccine. AZ cannot be prioritising countries where the profit is greatest as it is committed to making no profit during pandemic.
    So comments blocked. Typical!

  13. So Much For Subtlety

    We must give people who hate us the prize results of Western civilisation or they will hate us some more?

    Well that makes sense.

    How about no aid in any form for any country that votes against us in the UN?

  14. ‘How about no aid in any form for any country that votes against us in the UN?’

    But, but then they’d just vote on your side at the UN!!!!!

  15. Bloke in North Dorset

    Who cares about the UN? It’s just lost what shreds of credibility it had:

    “ No Joke: NORTH KOREA today reviewed Australia’s rights record at the UN:

    “DPRK is concerned about human rights in Australia. We recommend to Australia: 1) End racism. 2) Cease inhuman treatment in detention centers. 3) Ensure the right of all to participate in elections.””

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