The Supply of COVID Vaccines is already outpacing the Demand

Health | April 10, 2022, Sunday // 10:23|  views

After two years of competing for vaccination against covid in the world, the number of available vaccines is already exceeding their demand. However, there remains a huge difference in vaccination levels between the richest and poorest countries, writes AFP.

More than 13 billion doses have been produced since the pandemic, with 11 billion injected, according to the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA).

Nine billion more doses are expected to be produced this year. Pfizer alone plans to produce four billion doses. According to experts, global demand will fall to 6 billion doses.

And richer nations are now suffering from a surplus of vaccines: the EU and the G7 alone have 497 million doses surplus at the end of last month alone. Most likely the vaccines will be discarded.

Vaccines against covid have a relatively short shelf life - injections of AstraZeneca and Novavax have a six-month shelf life.

However, billions of people remain unvaccinated worldwide, most of them in developing countries.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, head of the World Health Organization, warned that inequalities in access to vaccines could lead to new, possibly more contagious variants.

The WHO programs still aim for 70% vaccination of the world's population by July this year.

Vaccination in the world, however, remains uneven: nearly 80 percent of France's population, for example, has received two doses. But only 15 percent of Africa's population is fully vaccinated, according to Oxford University.

“Inequality in vaccines is the greatest moral failure of our time, and people and nations are paying the price,” said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres earlier this year.

Another problem is that many of the vaccines donated to poor countries are on the verge of expiration.

UNICEF Director of Supply Etleva Kadilli said nearly 100 million doses had been rejected in December due to the expiration date.

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Tags: supply, demand, COVID-19, vaccines

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