“With vaccines in short supply, most countries in South Asia have not inoculated more than six per cent of their population with even a first dose, with efforts so far reaching middle and higher-income groups,” Amnesty said urging governments across the world to waive provisions of the global treaty governing rights and patents on properties including medicines.

Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific director Yamini Mishra said, “As vaccine campaigns have been rolled out, marginalised groups across South Asia have been effectively locked out by practical barriers. South Asia’s governments must ensure fair and equitable access to vaccines for everyone irrespective of caste, socio-economic or other status, race, or nationality.”

“The lack of access to vaccine supply in most countries across the region is a real and pressing concern that needs to be urgently addressed,” she added.