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More than a Million COVID Deaths in 4 Months Since G7 Leaders Failed to Break Vaccine Monopolies

At current vaccination rate low income countries would be waiting 57 years for
everyone to be fully vaccinated

More than a million people have died from COVID since G7 leaders last met back in February, when they made vague pledges to increase the global vaccine supply, but crucially failed to collectively back the waiver of intellectual property rules and investment in manufacturing vaccines in developing countries that would really make the difference.

As G7 Health Ministers meet today for talks ahead of the Leaders’ Summit next week, The People’s Vaccine Alliance is calling on the G7 to stop making empty promises and protecting the interests of pharmaceutical companies, and instead take urgent action to close the massive vaccine void between their nations and poorer countries.

New calculations from the Alliance, which includes Health Justice Initiative, Oxfam, and UNAIDS, found that last month people living in G7 countries were 77 times more likely to be offered a vaccine than those living in the world’s poorest countries. Between them, G7 nations were vaccinating at a rate of 4.6 million people a day in May, meaning, if this rate continues, everyone living in G7 nations should be fully vaccinated by 8 January 2022. At the current rate – vaccinating 63,000 people a day – it would take low income countries 57 years to reach the same level of protection.

Of the 1.77 billion doses of COVID vaccines given globally, 28 per cent have been in G7 countries. In contrast just 0.3 per cent of COVID jabs have been given in lowincome countries, despite the fact G7 and low-income countries have a fairly similar population size.

Fatima Hassan, Founder and Director of Health Justice Initiative in South Africa, said: “Eight people have died from COVID every minute since G7 leaders last met. That’s more than a million lives lost, while just a few countries, including the UK and Germany, continue to block proposals to waive patents on COVID-19 vaccines and treatments which would enable every qualified manufacturer in the world to produce vaccines instead of a handful of US and European pharma corporations.

Notes to editors:

Since G7 leaders last met for a virtual summit on 19 February, 1,094,213 people have died from COVID, the equivalent of 8 people per minute, according to data from Our World in Data https://ourworldindata.org/covid-deaths

Vaccine supply and delivery data from Airfinity, Our World in Data, UNICEF and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. Projections of how long vaccinations could take are based on the average rate of vaccinations from 1st May – 25th May 2022.Calculations were made on 26th May 2021.

Between them, G7 nations are vaccinating at a rate of 4,630,533 people per day. At that rate it would take 227 days to fully vaccinate their entire population, until 8th January 2022, assuming everyone receives two doses. Between them, Low Income Countries are vaccinating at a rate of 62,772 people per day. At that rate it will take them 57 years to vaccinate their entire population, until 7 October 2078, assuming everyone receives two doses.

According to new calculations made by the People’s Vaccine Alliance using Our World In Data from 25 May, 1,774,959,169 vaccines have been administered globally. People living in G7 countries received 497,150,151 of these vaccines (28%) their combined population is 774,917,290. People living in low Income countries received 5,481,470 vaccines (0.31%), their combined population is 660,310,395.

For the month of May 497.15m doses were given in G7 countries, divided between 774m people = 0.6423 doses per person, 5.48mdoses were given in low income countries divided between 660m people = 0.0083 doses per person, 0.6423 divided by 0.0083 = 77.4 – therefore, last month people in G7 countries were 77x more likely to get a vaccine than those in poor countries.

The statistic that COVAX will only reach 10% of people in developing countries this year does not include India. More information on G7 public opinion polling by the People’s Vaccine Alliance available here: https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2021/05/an-average-of-7-in-10-across-g7-countries-think-their-governments-should-force-big-pharma-to-share-vaccine-know-how/

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