Richest countries stockpiling a billion more vaccine doses than needed

G7 leaders urged to share doses that could supercharge global efforts to end pandemic

London UK, 19 Feb 2021 – As G7 leaders meet later today for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, new analysis released by global anti-poverty organisation The ONE Campaign shows that the world’s richest countries are on course to accumulate 1 billion more doses than they would need to fully vaccinate all their own citizens.

The analysis looks at the number of doses of the five leading COVID-19 vaccines (Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Oxford-AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, and Novavax) purchased to date, and finds that Australia, Canada, Japan, UK, and US and the EU have already secured a total of over 3 billion doses of approved COVID vaccines, almost 1 billion more than the 2.06 billion needed to give their entire populations two doses.

These figures demonstrate that this handful of rich countries are on track to monopolise vaccine access in 2021, despite the challenges faced by other countries to access enough vaccines. To date, the rest of the world has only been able to secure 2.5 billion doses of the most promising vaccines — leaving billions of people with little hope of receiving a vaccine in the next year.

ONE’s analysis also shows that, taken alongside other vaccines procured by COVAX and bilateral deals, these doses would go a long way to protect the most vulnerable people around the world — significantly cutting the risk of death from COVID, reducing the likelihood of dangerous new strains emerging, and increasing the speed at which the world can end the pandemic.

Jenny Ottenhoff, senior director for policy at The ONE Campaign said: “This huge excess is the embodiment of vaccine nationalism. Rich countries understandably hedged their bets on vaccines early in the pandemic but with these bets paying off in spades, a massive course correction is needed if we are going to protect billions of people around the world.   

“G7 leaders will not be doing any favors for their own citizens or the rest of the world if they stockpile vaccines. If the virus can thrive in any part of the world, the risk of new variants increases. This is a race we cannot afford to lose. Otherwise it is only a matter of time before strains emerge that undermine the vaccines and tools that have been developed to fight COVID-19. None of us are out of the woods until we have beaten this virus everywhere.”

“The good news is that when G7 leaders meet today, they have the chance to seize this opportunity. If they can agree a fast, fair, and effective way to share excess doses with other countries as soon as they come off the production line, they could really supercharge the global fight against this virus. The quicker we can protect the whole world, the sooner this pandemic ends for all of us and we can begin the task of rebuilding and getting our lives back on track.”

ENDS – 

 

Notes to editors:

 ONE’s analysis looked at G20 countries and the EU and uses the following parameters to define what constitutes “excess doses” that should be shared with other countries:

  1. We count procured doses of the five leading vaccines that have been proven safe and effective in clinical trials, and have obtained regulatory approval or are expected to obtain regulatory approval in the first half of 2021: Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Oxford-AstraZeneca, Janssen (J&J), and Novavax.
  2. We assume that countries able to donate will maintain sufficient enough doses to vaccinate 100 percent of their populations  and donate only excess cede any additional supply.
  3. This conservative approach finds that five countries ( — Australia, Canada, Japan, UK, and US) —  plus the EU block of 27 countries could share close to nearly 1 billion doses of leading COVID-19 vaccines with other countries and still retain enough supply to have enough doses to inoculate their entire populations.
  • The table below shows the number of vaccine doses and excess doses secured by each country:

 

Number of Excess Doses Available to Share, By Country/Group 

 

Country Population
(total)
Doses
Purchased*
100% coverage
(2-doses)
Doses available
to share
 
Australia 25,364,310 114,800,000 50,728,620 64,071,380  
Canada 37,589,260 190,000,000 75,178,520 114,821,480  
Japan 126,264,930 290,000,000 252,529,860 37,470,140  
United Kingdom 66,834,400 247,000,000 133,668,800 113,331,200  
United States 328,239,520 1,110,000,000 656,479,040 453,520,960  
European Union 447,512,040 1,360,000,000 895,024,080 464,975,920  
TOTAL 1,248,191,080  
* This analysis looks at doses purchased of the five leading vaccines on the market or awaiting regulatory approval” Pfizer, Moderna, Oxford/AZ, Novavax, J&J  

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