'People's vaccine' or bust, Oxfam warns

·1-min read

Failure to vaccinate the entire global population could cost each Australian more than $1300 as the economy stutters and mutant strains of coronavirus take hold, Oxfam has warned.

Oxfam Australia chief executive Lyn Morgain said the status quo was failing rich countries and everyone else.

"It is a bizarre act of financial and economic self-harm," she said on Tuesday.

A cheaper "people's vaccine" is possible if intellectual property rights are waived and drug companies share their vaccine recipes.

"Rich countries are defending the interests of the pharmaceutical sector over their citizens, other businesses, and their economies as a whole," she said.

Australian household spending will take a $1348 hit per person this year without a change in global approach, according to an Oxfam analysis of International Chamber of Commerce figures.

Vaccine inequality will cost up to $2700 per person in the United States or a global $9 trillion "worst case" economic catastrophe.

Amid a global shortage of vaccines and Europe slamming the door on exports, Australia's troubled vaccine rollout has missed an initial target of four million doses by early April.

There are now doubts about the October target for vaccinating all Australians who want the jab.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison's vaccine diplomacy with Europe has failed to unlock Pfizer or AstraZeneca supplies for Australia or one million vials urgently needed for Papua New Guinea.

Biotech giant CSL won't say when it will achieve its promised one million doses a week production of the AstraZeneca vaccine that Australia is relying upon for the bulk of its rollout.