London: The United Kingdom, the European Union and the United States have received more doses of Covid 19 vaccines in the six-week run up to Christmas than African countries have received all year, as they are “banking on boosters” to keep them safe from Omicron and other future variants, the People´s Vaccine Alliance (PVA) reported on Friday.
In his latest analysis, the coalition of 80 organizations and campaign groups demanding free access to Covid 19 vaccines, treatments and tests said that between November 11 and December 21, 2021, the UK, EU and US received 513 million doses of vaccines while countries in Africa received just 500 million throughout the whole of the year.
“Make no mistake rich country governments are to blame for the uncertainty and fear that is once again clouding Christmas. By blocking the real solutions to vaccine access in poorer countries they are prolonging the pandemic and all its suffering for every one of us,” Anna Marriot, health manager for Oxfam and the PVA, was quoted as saying.
The PVA noted, for example, that faced with a rapid surge in Omicron variant, the UK government has set a target of administering one million booster doses of Covid 19 vaccines a day, equivalent to vaccinating 1.46 per cent of its population every day.
“If every country was able to vaccinate at the same rate as the UK target, it would take just 68 days to deliver a first dose to everyone who needs one, leaving no one unvaccinated by the end of February 2022,” it claimed, stressing that to date, just 8.6 per cent of people in Africa have been fully vaccinated.
According to the report, the Group of Seven made of Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Japan, UK and US will have 1.4 billion surplus doses by March 2022, even after giving all adults a booster.
However, they are failing to deliver on their pledge to donate one billion doses to poor countries, as the US has delivered just a quarter of the vaccines promised, while the UK and Germany have delivered 15 per cent and 14 per cent respectively.