Amnesty International on Wednesday has released a report denouncing six top manufacturers of the COVID-19 vaccine for “fueling an unprecedented human rights crisis” by refusing to waive intellectual property rights.
The recent report, titled “A Double Dose of Inequality,” criticized AstraZeneca, BioNTech, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Novavax, and Pfizer for favoring wealthy states and failing to provide enough COVID-19 vaccines for the world’s poorest nations.
“Big Pharma’s intentional blocking of knowledge transfer and their wheeling and dealing in favor of wealthy states have brewed an utterly predictable and utterly devastating vaccine scarcity for so many others,” said Amnesty International’s Secretary-General Agnes Callamard.
The report said that fewer than 1% of people in low-income countries are fully vaccinated compared to 55% of people in richer countries.
Only 0.3% of the 5.76 billion doses administered worldwide have gone to low-income countries while 79% are delivered to upper-middle and high-income countries. The responsibility for this stark discrepancy lies with the vaccine manufacturers.
Amnesty International is now calling on governments and pharmaceutical companies to provide two billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines to low and lower-middle-income countries to meet the World Health Organization’s goal of vaccinating 40% of the population by the end of the year.
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