Because AstraZeneca vaccines were no longer being administered to younger age groups in fear of blood-clotting complications, hundreds of thousands of jabs were left unused to expire. More than 600 thousand COVID vaccines were thrown to the bin this last August as a result, according to data collected by a Freedom of Information request.
Efforts will have to be doubled
But back in June during the G7 summit, the government pledged it would help out poorer countries by donating 100 million vaccine doses by mid 2022. As it stands currently, only about 20 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine have been sent abroad.
This means that for the UK to reach its goal, it will have to be donating 11.5 million doses of the vaccine each month—more than double the amount it is currently donating. The British confederation Oxfam has called the scandal a 'disgrace' and commented on how the expired jabs could have gone to thousands of front line workers in poorer countries.
'Rich countries have to get their act together'
Anna Marriott, health policy manager at charity organizationOxfam, condemned the reckless and selfish way richer countries have hoarded COVID vaccines:
Our estimates suggest at least 100 million vaccine doses could go unused and expire in G7 countries by the end of this year. This number could increase even further to around 800 million wasted doses by mid-2022. There’s a clear case that rich countries have to get their act together here.
Their short-sighted vaccine nationalism and their free pass to big pharmaceutical giants to profit as much as they like from these these publicly funded vaccines is prolonging the pandemic and costing lives.