The total cost of COVID-19 vaccination could have been five times less if the major pharmaceutical companies weren’t taking advantage of their monopoly on COVID-19 vaccines, according to the People’s Vaccine Alliance. “The cost of vaccinating the world against COVID-19 could be at least five times cheaper if pharmaceutical companies weren’t profiteering from their monopolies on COVID-19 vaccines,” a new analysis by the Alliance shows.

“The firms Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna are charging governments as much as $41 billion above the estimated cost of production,” the alliance said in a release. Although the infection and death rates due to COVID-19 implications are rapidly growing in developing countries, the pharma giants have sold more than 90% of their COVID-19 vaccines to rich countries which overpay them as far as 24 times the actual price, the alliance went on.

Developing countries have low vaccination rates and the situation is getting worse, as the infections especially from COVID-19 Delta variant are rising. The inequalities become more obvious when statistics come into perspective. In the EU at the moment 57.8% of the population is vaccinated with at least one dose of the vaccine, according to European Center for Disease Prevention and Control. In the US this percentage is 56.8%, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. At the same time in very big developing countries with hundreds of millions of population those percentages are in single digits.