NGO Amnesty International has criticised Covid vaccine manufacturer Pfizer after the global biopharmaceutical company reported R216 billion ($14 billion) in revenue in its third-quarter report.
Pfizer is also set to earn R556 billion ($36 billion) from vaccine sales by the end of the year.
Amnesty International’s Head of Business and Human Rights Patrick Wilcken said Pfizer’s billions come amid criticisms of vaccine inequity.
Wilcken said Pfizer had failed to provide vaccines to billions of people and described the company’s financial performance as a “human rights failure of catastrophic proportions”.
“Not only has the vast majority of its vaccines gone to high and upper-middle-income countries, but Pfizer has also consistently refused to waive its intellectual property rights and share vaccine technology,” said Wilcken.
“At the same time, Pfizer is benefitting from billions of dollars in government funding and advance orders from wealthy countries.“
The organisation said the unquenchable thirst for profits by big pharmaceutical companies, like Pfizer, is fuelling an unprecedented human rights crisis.
Amnesty warned that if big pharmas were left unchecked, the rights of billions of people worldwide to life and health would continue to be in jeopardy.
“Amnesty International is supporting the World Health Organization’s target of vaccinating 40% of those in low and lower-middle-income countries by the end of 2021 with our 100 Day Countdown campaign,” said Wilcken.
There are now 59 days until the end of the year, and Amnesty is pleading with states “to redistribute hundreds of millions of surplus doses urgently.”
The organisation is calling on vaccine developers to ensure that at least half the doses they produce go to these countries where vaccination rates and supply remain low.
“It’s not too late for Pfizer and its big pharma competitors to do what’s right for humanity and fulfil their human rights obligations,” said Wilcken.
At the end of the month, WTO members are expected to meet in Geneva to discuss the TRIPS Waiver to temporarily lift intellectual property rights, which could expand the world’s manufacturing capacity of Covid-19 vaccines.
“Big pharma must stop lobbying against the waiver so that world production can be boosted and diversified, and every person on the planet can get a shot at these life-saving vaccines,” concluded Wilcken.