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Tue Apr 27, 2021, 11:46 PM

The world needs many more Coronavirus vaccines

Low- and middle-income nations are facing an unconscionable shortage of coronavirus vaccines that threatens to upend progress against the pandemic.

So far, this global shortage has been obscured by pockets of vaccine abundance in wealthier countries like the United States.

But if the shortage isn’t addressed soon, the trouble will become all too clear. Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people will continue to get sick and die, even as the pandemic recedes in richer nations.

Nearly as soon as vaccines entered clinical trials, wealthy countries began hoarding doses, ensuring that instead of the most vulnerable people everywhere being vaccinated, their residents would be first in line.

Then, as the vaccines came to market, some vaccine makers insisted on sweeping liability protections that further imperiled access for poorer countries.

In other countries, Pfizer has reportedly not only sought liability protection against all civil claims — even those that could result from the company’s own negligence — but has asked governments to put up sovereign assets, including their bank reserves, embassy buildings and military bases, as collateral against lawsuits.

Some countries have understandably balked at such demands, according to the nonprofit Bureau of Investigative Journalism, and the pace of purchasing agreements has slowed as a result.

At: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/24/opinion/covid-vaccines-poor-countries.html

Senior citizens being vaccinated recently at an old age home in Buenos Aires, Argentina - where vaccinations, while ramping up, are failing to keep up with surging cases and deaths.

Export restrictions on vast U.S. Covid vaccine supplies - as well as Pfizer's demands on sovereign assets as collateral (including embassies and even central bank reserves) - have left developing countries dependent on Russia, China, and (until recently) India for most of their scarce vaccines.

While daily cases in the U.S. have fallen 77% from January highs, average daily cases worldwide have more than doubled to 825,000.

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