The global race for a COVID-19 vaccine continues as rich countries are expected to get ahold of vaccine stocks first while poor countries with weak health systems wonder whether they will be looked over.
Study Suggests Rich Countries Already Made Huge Vaccine Purchases
A study released by Oxfam indicated that wealthy nations have already bought up around half of COVID-19 vaccine stocks, raising concerns about how nationalism will affect the race for immunization.
According to the study, around 51 percent of the expected 5.9 billion doses from five leading vaccine developers have already been purchased by wealthy countries.
Among those mentioned in the study are the United States, the European Union, Great Britain, Switzerland, and Australia. Joining the list are Israel, Macau, Japan, and Hong Kong.
It is unclear which underdeveloped countries have bought up vaccine stocks, but developing nations such as Mexico, China, India, Bangladesh, and Brazil have either been promised stocks or purchased stocks on their own.
Oxfam America's Robert Silverman said obtaining "a life-saving vaccine shouldn't depend on where you live or how much money you have."
Russia to Send Millions of Doses to India
The sovereign fund that supports Russia's COVID-19 vaccine said on Wednesday that it will sell 100 million doses of its vaccine to the second hardest-hit country in the world, India.
The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) said deliveries of the vaccine "could potentially begin in late 2020" after trials are completed and regulatory boards in India give the green light to the touted vaccine.
India is just one of over 30 countries that expressed interest in obtaining the Sputnik V vaccine. Regulatory stages and final trials have yet to be completed.
Trump Claims Vaccine will be Ready in Weeks
Amid rising concerns about nationalism taking over in the race for coronavirus immunization, U.S. President Donald Trump continues to claim that his country will obtain a vaccine in several weeks.
At a recent media conference, Trump said U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) director Robert Redfield was "confused" of when the novel coronavirus vaccine will be available.
Earlier this week, Redfield told a U.S. Senate committee that a vaccine will likely be available around mid to late 2021.
Experts have also supported Redfield's projections, explaining that a vaccine usually takes years before completion as the trials include multiple stages, as well as quality control and safety regulatory processes.
For Trump, the much-anticipated COVID-19 vaccine will likely come around in three or four weeks.
Latest Global Update
As of Wednesday, the global coronavirus infection toll has surpassed 29.65 million. The death toll is nearing 1 million, with at least 936,905 fatalities linked to COVID-19.
The United States remains the hardest-hit country, with at least 6,828,301 confirmed coronavirus cases and 201,348 deaths.
India is quickly catching up, with its national infection toll at 5,118,253 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 83,230 deaths.
Brazil is in third spot in number of coronavirus cases, but it has more deaths than India, with 134,174 lives lost to the fast-spreading disease.