As the world continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, a lack of access to COVID-19 vaccines for some countries is further entrenching global inequality and threatening millions more lives.
The World Trade Organisation has the power to allow countries that can’t afford the vaccine to make their own versions faster and at a lower cost. By waiving the rights of big pharmaceutical companies to control the patents of their vaccines during the pandemic, we will save millions of lives and help protect all of us around the world.
As it currently stands, more than 85 developing countries will not have widespread access to COVID-19 vaccines before 2023. Residents of wealthy and middle-income countries have received about 90 percent of the nearly 400 million vaccines delivered so far. Meanwhile, India is currently recording over 300,000 COVID-19 cases per day.
Vaccines only work to eradicate illnesses if the majority of the population is vaccinated.
The waiver, proposed by South Africa and India, would only apply to COVID-19 medical products and only for the duration of the pandemic. Their proposal is supported by 118 of 164 countries on WTO.
The Morrison Government is currently siding with the big pharmaceutical companies and actively protecting the exclusive patents on the vaccines and Big Pharma’s huge profits, even in the midst of this global emergency.
These vaccines were developed with public funding and technology but the pharmaceutical companies are refusing to temporarily share the patents to speed up access for all.
The truth is, No one is safe unless everyone is safe. We can’t go back to normal until we end the pandemic everywhere.
Enough is enough. Support the waiver