While the US and UK barely export vaccines, China has stepped in with 166 million exported doses
Rabat – Vaccine manufacturers across the world have now produced 1 billion vaccines, with less than a third being exported to countries in need. China is attempting to fill in the gaps, having brought its national epidemic under control.
While most vaccines have been produced in the US and Europe, only a small number of manufactured vaccines have been made available to the rest of the global community. Less than a third of all vaccines are exported abroad. China is currently providing 55% of all vaccines produced for non-domestic use, according to Airfinity data.
Vaccine production is expected to accelerate rapidly over the coming month, with another billion doses expected to be made before June.
COVID-19 is a global problem, prompting the WHO to repeatedly call for an international solution that avoids the current competition for vaccines that poorer countries are bound to lose.
Wealthy countries such as the US and UK have produced 253 million doses, yet they have only exported 3 million and 700,000 doses respectively.
Amid global demand for vaccines, many developing countries have resorted to making bilateral agreements to purchase doses from Russia and China. Africa remains the most under-served continent, with only 1.6% of all vaccines going to the second most populous continent on Earth.
One of the few other options is the WHO’s COVAX program. The COVAX program, which involves the World Economic Forum and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is a public-private partnership program under the banner of the UN.
NGOs such as the Transnational Institute have since identified problematic elements in the program. They conclude that COVAX has not been able to meet demand in developing nations even as COVID-19 continues to spread.
For the time being it appears that developing nations will continue to have to rely on vaccines from China and Russia. Officials in China appear to recognize the responsibility they currently have and have vowed to increase production to 3 billion vaccines in 2021.