It’s a tale of two pandemics as Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka run low on vaccines while U.S. has fully inoculated 38% of population.
Cases and deaths hit records in India and flow over to its neighbors, as AFP reported. India, the world’s biggest vaccine maker, has said it will not export any more doses until year-end as it struggles to contain a deepening crisis. That has left Asian countries scrambling to secure supplies and some are looking to China and Russia. India is also looking for supplies on international markets and has started to import Russia’s Sputnik V to make up for domestic shortages.
The European Union pledged to donate 100 million vaccine doses to poorer countries at the start of a global G-20 summit Friday, at which world leaders are expected to stress the need to scale up vaccine efforts all around the world.
Pfizer and BioNTech told the summit they would provide 2 billion doses of their vaccine to middle- and low-income countries in the next 18 months.
That comes after agencies, including the World Health Organization, the United Nations, UNICEF and the Red Cross, have made appeals for greater vaccine equity. Experts have emphasized that leaving poorer countries out of the vaccine push will allow variants to emerge that have the potential to become resistant to the current vaccines.