Vaccination target missed: WHO sees market manipulation

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The slow pace of CoV vaccinations in poorer countries is due to a lack of vaccine, and that is due to market manipulation, according to a senior World Health Organization (WHO) official. Bruce Aylward, advisor to the WHO secretary-general on vaccination issues, spoke to dpa today to demand more transparency from manufacturing companies about their production and supplies.

WHO’s goal of having 10 percent of people vaccinated in all countries by the end of September will be missed. A few dozen countries, especially in Africa, are well below that.

Among other things, Aylward is handling the Covax vaccination initiative, through which the WHO originally planned to distribute vaccines fairly around the world. Rich countries were on board, he said, but when vaccines finally became available, they made separate deals with the manufacturers.

“There’s something strange happening in the marketplace.”
Covax had signed contracts to deliver hundreds of millions of vaccine doses, but was awaiting delivery, he said. The program has received a total of $9.8 billion (about 8.5 billion euros) for the purchase of vaccine doses. “Someone is manipulating the market,” Aylward told dpa. “The biggest buyer is sitting on the money, has signed contracts and is not being supplied – there is something strange happening in the market.”

Aylward said he sees profit maximization as the motive. Instead, the manufacturing companies said they were delivering as orders came in. Governments in rich countries signed their contracts earlier than Covax, he said.

To that, Aylward said governments that were well-supplied could ensure that more orders went to Covax rather than to them. Possibly, however, richer countries were comfortable with getting supplies and then donating vaccine doses so they could have more control over distribution. They often wanted to supply certain countries with donated doses.

  • source: orf.at/picture:pixabay.com
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