Various humanitarian organizations this Saturday asked G20 leaders to address vaccine shortages in different parts of the world, warning that vaccine inequality could lead to an “infinite pandemic”.
“If vaccine inequality is not addressed during the G20 summit this weekend, the pandemic could prolong (…),” denounced the Popular Vaccine Alliance, a coalition of more than 75 organizations, including Amnesty International and Oxfam.
In a statement posted on Amnesty International’s website, the group called for a temporary suspension of intellectual property laws for COVID-19 vaccines and to work together to share technologies and treatments for the disease.
The organizations recalled that the G20 represents 62 percent of the world’s population, but has used 82 percent of all vaccines against COVID-19 produced worldwide, while in the poorest countries only three percent of the population have been vaccinated with at least one dose.
In the letter, the coalition argued that 82 percent of the G20 population live in countries that support a proposal put forward by India and South Africa to suspend intellectual property laws against COVID-19 and thus expand the production of vaccines.
However, he has accused Great Britain and Germany – and thus the entire European Union – of blocking the proposal. “Great Britain and Germany vaccinated three times more people (…) than India and South Africa,” the letter said.
Popular Vaccine Alliance political director Anna Marriot has called the blockade of the proposal a “scandal” and accused the G20 of “turning their backs on the thousands of children orphaned by the pandemic every day”.
The group has also given assurances that Indonesia, one of the countries that support the suspension of intellectual property, said during a press conference that it could produce 550 million doses of vaccines for COVID-19 a year if it weren’t for keeping its development secret and technology.
For her part, Amnesty International health advisor Tamaryn Nelson has suggested that countries with surplus vaccines should distribute them now and that pharmaceutical companies must share the knowledge needed to increase global production.