India has emerged as the biggest purchaser of confirmed vaccine doses at 1,600 million as countries are securing shots to combat the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), which has already killed 1.5 million people globally, a study by the US’ Duke University showed. India has so far registered over 9.57 million cases till now and 139,188 people have died.
The European Union is in the second position with nearly 1,600 million doses. While, the United States, which continues to be the worst affected nation, has managed to purchase 1,000 million vaccine doses.
The study, ‘Launch and Scale Speedometer’, analysed data up to November 30 on vaccine procurement and manufacturing to track the flow of procurement and better understand global equity challenges. The North Carolina-based university conducted research to identify Covid-19 vaccine candidates and status, ongoing negotiations of procurement and manufacturing, virus burden in a country along with allocation and distribution plans. “Countries with manufacturing capacity, such as India and Brazil, have been successful in negotiating large advance market commitments with leading vaccine candidates as part of the manufacturing agreements,” the study showed.
Japan, Canada and the United Kingdom have purchased less than 400 million confirmed vaccine doses till now. Duke University pointed out that there will not be enough vaccines to cover the entire global population until 2023 or 2024. The study also revealed that high-income countries held 3.8 billion confirmed vaccine doses, middle income held 829 million doses while low-income countries held over 1.7 billion doses.
“Most high-income countries have been able to negotiate purchases through the investment of large amounts of public funds into research and development of Covid-19 vaccines and leveraged purchasing power to make large-scale deals across a portfolio of vaccine candidates,” it added.