Pharma lobby calls for increased vaccine sharing

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While advanced countries have made progress with vaccination programmes, shots "are not equally reaching all priority populations worldwide", according to pharmaceutical organisations.

Leading pharmaceutical organisations pressed Wednesday for urgent measures to share coronavirus vaccines globally and inoculate the world's entire adult population by the end of the year.

While advanced countries have made progress with vaccination programmes, shots "are not equally reaching all priority populations worldwide", eight major drug organisations and associations noted in a joint statement.

"Manufacturers, governments, and non-governmental organizations must work together to take urgent steps to further address this inequity," they said.

An estimated 11 billion vaccine doses could be produced by the end of 2021, compared with 2.2 billion at the end of May, according to the groups that are based in Europe and the United States.

They include IFPMA, PhRMA, efpia, abpi, Vaccines Europe, Bio, and ICBA, which based their estimates on data provided by the science research group airfinity.

To reach their target, the lobby group urged stakeholders to boost vaccine sharing, in particular via the Covax programme that provides them to poorer countries, and to raise production levels.

That could be done by scaling up output of raw materials and components, dismantling trade barriers and supporting movement of skilled workers, the statement said.

Coronavirus vaccines are badly needed by developing countries, but the global programme Covax remains sorely underfunded and faces significant supply shortages, the groups noted.

Covax intended to ensure the vaccination of 20 percent of participating country's populations by the end of the year, but is currently said to be short by around 190 million doses.

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