The NGO Amnesty International (AI) has regretted this Friday that rich countries and pharmaceutical companies have failed "catastrophically" by failing to guarantee equitable access to covid-19 vaccines during this year, while it has disfigured that they have left "billions of people without drugs that save lives."
Despite repeated calls from organizations such as AI or the World Health Organization (WHO) to ensure that, at a minimum, 40 percent of the population in low- and lower-middle-income countries were vaccinated before the end of 2021, rich countries and businesses pharmaceutical they have continued to "ignore" these pleas, AI has indicated.
The general secretary of the NGO, Agnès Callamard, has pointed out that "despite the fact that the world has produced around 11,000 million vaccine doses, only 7 percent of the population in low-income countries have received a single dose. "
Callamard has pointed out that while many people in richer countries have received up to three doses, many more in poorer countries have not received any, revealing a "grim reality." "Some lives are considered more worth saving than others", has added.
"Why are the poorest countries being denied access to life-saving medicines? While rich countries keep stacks of unused vaccines? ", has been questioned, noting that this is a" really devastating "end of the year.
In addition, it has focused on appearance of the omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 "should serve as a warning" rich countries and pharmaceutical companies, "who have not tackled the pandemic in the global arena."
"Do not vaccinate all people, regardless of where they live, makes the entire world population vulnerable to new variants", he recalled, before stressing that" the only way to break this vicious circle is by ensuring that all people have access to vaccines. "
AI's secretary general has expressed that the organization was confident that international pressure would help rich countries and big pharmaceutical companies "to come to their senses, they would stop hoarding vaccines and would share the rights of intellectual property"." But greed has been able to them, he has lamented. "Let's hope that his New Year's resolutions include keeping his promises and ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to get vaccinated," he added.
"Unless drastic measures are taken now, covid-19 will continue to wreak havoc for years to come and the key question now is what will happen if large parts of the world remain unvaccinated, "he added." It has never been clearer than no one is safe until everyone is safe", has riveted.
This year, leaders around the world made numerous promises about sharing vaccines, but have failed to keep them "time and time again," AI noted. In June, the G7 summit pledged to share 1 billion doses before the end of 2021, although the information indicates that this objective will not be met.
In September, the president of the United States, Joe biden, and the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, pledged to donate 900 million doses extra to low- and lower-middle-income countries before September 2022. "Although this initiative is welcome, the poorest countries need vaccines right now," the NGO reiterated.
The role of pharmaceutical companies
Pharmaceutical companies "have not been up to the task" either, according to AI, which has explained that the American pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has "misleadingly" claimed that its vaccine would be "available for any patient, country and community seeking access to it, "when, in fact, it has delivered the vast majority of its vaccines to high- and upper-middle-income countries.
His rival, Modern, Although it was only able to develop its vaccine with the support of scientists from the US government and enormous amounts of financial aid, it also has prioritized sales to rich countries. Both companies continue to deliver less than one percent of their inventory to low-income countries.
The serious thing for AI is that, in addition, Moderna and Pfizer, along with other vaccine manufacturers (AstraZeneca Y Johnson & Johnson) have refused to support measures that would temporarily lift the protection of intellectual property and to share vaccine technology with other manufacturers around the world to enable increased global production.
"All companies have the responsibility to respect the Human rights"The NGO has insisted, explaining that, above all, this responsibility means that companies have a duty to "do no harm."
"If they realize that they cause human rights abuses, they must immediately stop their harmful actions and provide reparation," he considered. This duty constitutes a widely recognized standard of conduct that is listed in the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.
"But, through their actions and omissions, the vaccine manufacturers have ended up harming the Human Rights of billions of people who lack access to the vaccine against COVID-19 or have contributed to that damage, "he added.