European Union countries have so far donated 4 million vaccines against Covid-19 to poor countries. That’s less than 3 percent of the 160 million vaccines that would be donated to contain the pandemic. This is evident from documents from the EU. These are mainly doses of AstraZeneca.
The European Union has committed itself to helping vulnerable people around the world to vaccinate, but so far, most of them have been purchased to help their own population. In total, the countries within the Union have now received some 500 million doses from the various pharmacists. That’s enough vaccines to fully vaccinate 70 percent of all adults. Outside the EU, this percentage is much lower. South Africa has so far been able to vaccinate 7% of the population once and Nigeria has only been able to vaccinate 1%.
Brussels has said earlier that at least 100 million vaccines should have been donated by the end of this year. The 4 million doses that have so far found their way to poorer countries have mainly gone to old colonies. For example, the Netherlands has sent some 250,000 AstraZeneca vaccines to Suriname. Eventually that will be 500,000 to 750,000.
The World Health Organization (who) has called on Western countries to share their vaccines with poorer countries through the International Covax programme, but despite the European Commission’s insistence on speeding up donations, things are still not progressing. The vaccines that are donated are AstraZeneca vaccines and to a lesser extent Janssen. In many EU countries, very little is used with these vaccines because of the risk of rare but dangerous side effects.
The European Union’s donations are very similar to those of the United States. They sent over 15 million vaccines to countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America in the last month. The US has promised to give away a total of 80 million vaccines, largely through Covax.
EU documents show that Germany plans to donate 33 million vaccines from August, of which 30 million are from the AstraZeneca brand. France has promised to donate 60 million vaccines, mainly to Covax. So far, that country has donated 800,000 doses, mainly to former colonies such as Senegal, Mauritania and Burkina Faso. However, according to a spokesman for the French Ministry of Finance, nearly 5 million AstraZeneca vaccines have now been given to Covax. At the end of the summer, vaccines from Janssen and Pfizer will be added.