Experts have warned that the jabs will expire by December and will be of no use in saving lives. The world’s poorest countries will pay for the vaccine waste in lives lost, former Prime Minister Gordon Brown said
A “staggering” stockpile of 100 million coronavirus vaccines will expire by December and be of no use in saving lives because of vaccine shortages in poor countries, experts warned tonight.
A study by research group Airfinity has been sent by former Prime Minister Gordon Brown to politicians including US President Joe Biden, PM Boris Johnson and EU leaders, beforea global vaccine summit on Wednesday.
Airfinity said that by the end of this month, seven billion vaccines will be available across the world, rising to 12 billion by December.
But it feared a “staggering” 100 million stockpiled Covid vaccines will expire by the end of the year.
Mr Brown said the crucial issue is where the vaccines will be distributed, adding there was no agreement on who will provide low income countries with the jabs by December.
“It is unthinkable and unconscionable that 100 million vaccines will have to be thrown away from the stockpiles of the rich countries whilst the populations of the world’s poorest countries will pay for our vaccine waste in lives lost,” he said.
“Wednesday’s summit must decide whether countries will swap delivery contracts, how regulatory barriers to vaccine exports can be overcome and who will underwrite the costs if stockpiled vaccines are to be used before they expire.
“The Airfinity report is a guide for world leaders to fix a more ambitious action plan.”
He added: “We need a vaccine release plan to provide ‘use now’ vaccines to prevent a vaccine waste disaster because ‘use by’ dates are missed.
“It will be a profound and collective political tragedy if this summit misses the opportunity to act with doses transferred immediately to poorer countries.”
Campaign group Global Justice Now feared wastage was “almost inevitable”.
Director Nick Dearden said: “We should immediately hand doses over to global south nations.
“But that alone will not be enough.
“Wasting millions of doses that could be used to save lives would be an atrocity.”
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