The top three Covid-19 vaccine makers are making around $65,000 per minute as wealthy nations snap up their products, while plans to offer the jab to poorer nations at a discount have largely fallen through, new research reveals.
“It is obscene that just a few companies are making millions of dollars in profit every single hour, while just two percent of people in low income countries have been fully vaccinated against coronavirus,” the African Alliance and People’s Vaccine Alliance Africa declared on Tuesday.
Pfizer, BioNTech, and Moderna are making $65,000 every minute off the sale of their blockbuster Covid-19 vaccines, the organizations revealed on Tuesday, noting that the firms have off-loaded the majority of their jabs to wealthy countries. The pharma trio will have realized $34 billion between them, the NGOs calculate, with sums that work out to $1,000 per second or $93.5 million per day.
Despite these prodigious profits, a whopping 98% of people in low-income countries remain unvaccinated, according to People’s Vaccine Alliance Africa (PVA) and the African Alliance. The organization added that while Pfizer and BioNTech had delivered less than 1% of their supply to low income nations, Moderna had done even worse, meting out just 0.2% of its own supplies to low-income nations.
“Pfizer, BioNTech and Moderna have used their monopolies to prioritize the most profitable contracts with the richest governments, leaving low-income countries out in the cold,” the African Alliance’s Maaza Seyoum told MedicalXpress on Tuesday. While AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson were more successful in distributing their jabs on a not-for-profit basis, they plan to wind down that arrangement in the near future, foreseeing an end to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The PVA has called for Big Pharma to temporarily suspend intellectual property rights regarding Covid-19 vaccines, waiving intellectual property rights under a World Trade Organization agreement, but wealthy nations like Germany and the UK have blocked that move.