Paris: While millions are getting the Covid-19 vaccine shots globally, vaccine makers are earning billions due to their “monopoly control” on the technology.
However, if a campaign group is to be believed, profits from Covid vaccines have produced at least nine new billionaires.
“Between them, the nine new billionaires have a combined net wealth of $19.3 billion, which enough to fully vaccinate all people in low-income countries 1.3 times,” The People’s Vaccine Alliance was quoted as saying via a statement by news agency AFP.
The Alliance, a network of organisations and activists campaigning for an end to property rights and patents for inoculations, revealed that the figures were based on the Forbes Rich List data.
“These billionaires are the human face of the huge profits many pharmaceutical corporations are making from the monopoly they hold on these vaccines,” Anna Marriott from charity organisation Oxfam, which is part of the alliance, said.
In addition to the new mega-rich, eight existing billionaires have seen their combined wealth inflate by $32.2 billion thanks to the rollout of vaccine, the Alliance added.
The list of new vaccine billionaires are headed by Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel and his BioNTech counterpart Ugur Sahin.
Three other new billionaires are jointly founded the Chinese vaccine company CanSino Biologics.
The Alliance statement was released a day ahead of the G20 Global Health Summit, which is scheduled for Friday. The summit comes amid growing calls to temporarily remove intellectual property protections on Covid-19 vaccines.