Back of the line: Charity only goes so far in world vaccines

National and World
FILE - In this Friday, July 9, 2021 file photo, UNICEF workers check the first shipment of 1.4 million Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine doses donated by the United States, at the Hamid Karzai International Airport, in Kabul, Afghanistan. In late June, the international system for sharing coronavirus vaccines sent about 530,000 doses to Britain – more than double the amount sent that month to the entire continent of Africa. It was the latest example of how a system that was supposed to guarantee low and middle-income countries vaccines is failing, leaving them at the mercy of haphazard donations from rich countries.(AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib, file)

FILE – In this Friday, July 9, 2021 file photo, UNICEF workers check the first shipment of 1.4 million Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine doses donated by the United States, at the Hamid Karzai International Airport, in Kabul, Afghanistan. In late June, the international system for sharing coronavirus vaccines sent about 530,000 doses to Britain – more than double the amount sent that month to the entire continent of Africa. It was the latest example of how a system that was supposed to guarantee low and middle-income countries vaccines is failing, leaving them at the mercy of haphazard donations from rich countries.(AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib, file)

LONDON (AP) — Low-income countries were supposed to get COVID-19 vaccines through a shared international system instead of waiting at the back of the line for unreliable donations from rich countries.

It hasn’t worked out that way.

Some rich countries bought up doses through the initiative known as COVAX despite already having vaccines.

Britain, for example, received more than twice as many COVAX doses in June as the entire continent of Africa.

A tally by The Associated Press shows that many poorer countries have landed in exactly the predicament the initiative was supposed to avoid.

They are once again at the mercy of donations, which are falling far short of what was promised.

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