Despite setbacks with patients dying or suffering from undesired side effects which led to the suspension of some vaccines in various countries, the market value of pharmaceutical companies continues to rise, having amassed 152 billion US dollars in profits since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, it was reported.
The European Union has warned it will tighten rules on exports of Covid vaccines, amid a row with AstraZeneca over a cut in planned supplies to the 27-member bloc. Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides said the EU will take any action required to protect its citizens.
Brazil approved two vaccines for emergency use against the coronavirus on Sunday as the country’s death toll from the disease it causes neared 210,000 and some of its hospitals grappled with an oxygen shortage.
The head of the World Health Organization said on Friday there is a “clear problem” that low- and middle-income countries are not yet receiving supplies of COVID-19 vaccines and urged countries to stop striking bilateral deals with manufacturers.
Pope Francis in his Christmas message on Friday said political and business leaders must not allow market forces and patent laws to take priority over making Covid-19 vaccines available to all, condemning nationalism and ”the virus of radical individualism.”
Brazil's health ministry said on Sunday it will sign non-binding letters of intent to purchase coronavirus vaccines from four companies and Russia's sovereign wealth fund, adding that any purchase will depend on the approval of the nation's regulators.