Human rights charity Amnesty International UK has accused Pfizer of making misleading claims about the distribution of its Covid-19 vaccines to low-income countries.
“Pfizer says it is committed to supplying doses to low and middle-income countries, but the numbers just don’t bear this out. The fact is that this company is still putting profits first,” the charity’s head of business and human rights, Patrick Wilcken said.
Amnesty claimed the pharmaceutical giant admitted in a letter to the charity that less than eight per cent of the two billion vaccines it said it had shipped by the end of September, had reached their destination.
Pfizer executives have also said that by the end of the year the US firm will have supplied at least one billion doses to what it refers to as “low and middle-income nations” – which accounts for over 84 per cent of the global population.
The hailed vaccine maker, however, has grouped low, lower-middle and upper-middle countries into one group, referring to them as “low and middle-income”.
However, within this category which encompasses a large portion of the planet, the bulk of Pfizer’s doses have been going to “upper-middle” income countries such as Malaysia, Mexico and Thailand, Amnesty said.
The letter to Amnesty also said: “Recently we pledged to provide two billion doses of our Covid-19 vaccine to middle- and low-income countries over the next 18 months. We expect to provide one billion of these doses to low- and middle-income countries this year. And we pledged to deliver another one billion doses to these countries in 2022.
“Upon finalisation of all agreements, we expect 40 per cent of our planned supply to go to low- and middle -income countries.”
Pfizer pulled a massive $36bn revenue from its vaccine branch Comirnaty in its third quarter, up from $33.5bn, as the firm continues to reap the rewards of being one of the first to crack the Covid-19 jab formula.
City A.M. has contacted Pfizer for comment.