As the world fights Covid-19, developed countries have the resources to obtain more vaccines than developing countries.
In India, the struggle for procuring oxygen still continues and many parts of the country still lack adequate healthcare facilities to treat COVID infected patients.
By August 2020, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union had purchased 150 million, 400 million, and 800 million doses, respectively, while vaccine research was ongoing. The inequality has been labelled "vaccine apartheid" by activists.
While one out of every four people in developed countries has received a vaccine, just one out of every 500 people in developing countries has, meaning the death rate continues to rise as the virus spreads. According to a global partnership led by Oxfam and Amnesty International, "rich nations representing just 14% of the world's population have bought up 53% of all the most promising vaccines so far." Rich countries have purchased all of Moderna's doses and 96% of Pfizer and BioNTech's.
According to the Global Health Innovation Center at Duke University, Canada has accumulated enough vaccine doses to potentially vaccinate the entire population five times over. With potential vaccine coverage of more than 400 percent, the United States and the United Kingdom are not far off.
President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa said on Monday that it would be "vaccine apartheid" if rich countries hoarded COVID-19 vaccines while millions of people in poor countries died waiting for them, reported Reuters.
South Africa and India had been lobbying the World Trade Organization for a waiver on certain intellectual property (IP) rights for vaccines and medicines. Last week, US President Joe Biden endorsed the plan, though an agreement could take months to achieve.
As of May 14, 2021, 3,345,937 people had died as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, with India alone reporting 262,317 deaths.
India has received 12,457,568 vaccination doses, while the United States has received 266,596,486 vaccination doses and the United Kingdom has administered 2,853,576 vaccination doses.