Promising results of the Pfizer vaccine and a few others have recently come in. Large scale vaccination of at risk staff and health care workers are slated to commence soon. Experts however, have recently said that this could take at least 4 years to immunise the world .The reason for this timeline is said to be the fact that rich countries have reserved a huge number of doses totalling to billions. They have reserved a one year supply for their population and this leaves very little for the poor.
Topping the list is US, buying one sixth of the world’s supply, and Canada buying supplies that could inoculate each of its citizens at least 9 times. India has emerged as a top advance buyer with 1.6 billion doses. Considering the population of India it is just a little over 1 dose per person.
This rush by the rich countries has left the low and middle income countries with no option but to wait till 2024 to vaccinate their population. Billions of dose of vaccines that are undergoing trials have been booked in advance. The numbers of doses reserved are 9.6 billion out of which 6.4 billion are purchases that are confirmed. There are 3.2 billion doses that are still under negotiation or a part of an existing deal that is being expanded. Since the manufacturing capacity may face limitations the access of the poorer countries to the vaccine may be delayed by another 4 years.
COVAX (COVID- 19 vaccines Global Access Facility) – a coalition of non – profit and International agencies is raising funds to help the lower and middle income group of countries. This initiative will help them immunise atleast 20 % of their population by the end of 2021. More than 150 countries have agreed to contribute towards this initiative.