The Covax procurement system, launched two years ago, has so far benefited far less than expected, with the primary aim of ensuring that people in poor countries have equal and equal access to vaccines. THE Financial Times Based on information aired last fall by the World Health Organization, it can be said that people in richer countries have received more than 16 times as many Covid-19 vaccines per capita as poorer states relying on the Covax program supported by the World Health Organization. Thus, it is not surprising that more and more countries are trying to take action on their own in terms of vaccine procurement and production.
Only nine percent of the continent’s population of 1.2 billion has been vaccinated. In the poorest African states, such as Mali, the rate is 1.9, in South Sudan 1.4, and in the Democratic Republic of Congo, it is desperately low, with only 0.1 percent of people vaccinated.
Even in one of Africa’s richest countries, Nigeria, vaccination rates are just over 2 percent. All this when there are 200 doses per 100 inhabitants in Western Europe.
Conditions that are far from an equality approach are mostly due to anomalies in the COVAX program. As is well known, the initiative to provide widespread access to coronavirus vaccination was intended to ensure a fair distribution of vaccines and deliver 2.2 billion doses to Africa by January 2022.
However, the process started very slowly, so much so that the amount of dose to be delivered was reduced to 1.4 billion. Rich nations have pledged to vaccinate at least 40 percent of people in all African countries by the end of last year. We are still very far from that.
At the beginning of the COVID epidemic, the African Union was asked to procure vaccines to provide enough vaccines to those living in Africa. However, rich states wanted to get their hands on 70 percent of the vaccine, so the global distribution was unequal. Seeing the situation, more and more African countries have had enough of all this and have recently decided to take it upon themselves to solve the problem.
Dozens of vaccine plants have recently been set up in Africa.
Companies like G42 in the UAE have recently developed a vaccine called Hayat-Vax in collaboration with Sinopharm. Their plant, already in Abu Dhabi, is the first vaccine manufacturing facility in the Arab world and they want to distribute millions of doses across the African continent.
In addition to these states, vaccine production could soon begin in several other countries, such as Algeria, Egypt, Senegal and Morocco. The Egyptian government hopes their facility will be able to produce up to one billion doses a year, while a $ 200 million facility will be set up in Senegal with the Pasteur Foundation.
The African continent can strike up to two birds in one fell swoop with the aforementioned step.
On the one hand, they can be independent of Western countries in the long run, and on the other hand, they can create new jobs through investment. Not to mention that they could end up significantly reducing their own weak vaccination statistics.
Not only the African continent began self-production, but also India, where a vaccine against a coronavirus based on a completely new mechanism of action, but which could in principle be modified to prevent other diseases, was released last year. In addition, a needle called ZyCoV-D does not or may not require a needle. The vaccine does not require an injection into the shoulder muscle and can be applied directly to the skin as a needle-free ‘patch’. The vaccine was previously tested on 28,000 volunteers and was found to be effective in preventing symptomatic coronavirus infection with 67 percent.
The country of more than 11 million is one that the United States and many Western countries face various economic sanctions. That’s why Havana didn’t wait any longer, but started developing its own vaccine.
a Last year’s research found that the island nation’s self-made vaccine, Soberana 02, provides more than 90 percent protection against COVID-19 infection and is also effective against the delta variant.
On November 18, 89 percent of the Cuban population, including children under the age of 2, received at least one dose of Soberana 02 or another Cuban vaccine called Abdala. The latter is a three-dose vaccine that was more than 92 percent effective in III. phase 48 studies involving more than 48,000 people.
The Cuban authorities approved the vaccination of Abdala and Soberana 02 in adults last July and August. On this occasion, the country began exporting the two domestically produced vaccines to Venezuela, Vietnam, Iran and Nicaragua. Havana is now awaiting approval from the World Health Organization (WHO) for its vaccines.
The country in the Far East is also one of the states that can use their economic dominance and technological know-how wherever they can to develop a vaccine that is effective enough. KM Biologics, Meiji Holdings this year plans to issue a vaccine reminiscent of an inactivated vaccine. Inactivated vaccines have been used for years against influenza and other infectious diseases.
An initial clinical study of the KM Biologics mRNA-based vaccine has previously shown that it has far fewer side effects than Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca.
At the same time, Japan will certainly have to rely on Western formulations for some time to come, as the company has yet to complete Phase 3 trials, which are scheduled for 2022-2023.
(Cover image: Healthcare workers are vaccinated against coronavirus on August 26, 2021 in Mumbai, India. Photo: Pratik Chorge / Hindustan Times / Getty Images)