Two years after the World Health Organization announced COVID-19 a global pandemic, it is far from achieving its target of vaccinating 70% of the world by mid-2022. COVID-19 continues to ravage human lives and cause extensive economic and social losses. The majority of those losses are experienced by people in the Majority World where the pandemic is still an everyday reality. While 62.8% of the population in the Minority World has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, only 12.6% of people in the Majority World have received one.
Funded by taxpayers’ money, the development of COVID-19 vaccines has been one of the greatest breakthroughs in humanity’s history. However, their manufacturing, production, and distribution was done in the same pattern that contributes to injustice and inequity around the globe. A pattern that prioritizes profits of big pharmaceutical companies over people’s lives.
We demand a people’s vaccine.
Large pharmaceutical companies are refusing to share the technology and recipe for COVID-19 vaccines with countries around the world, in order to protect their own profits. This is leading to direct loss of human life and propagation of new variants of the virus. Countries need to be able to manufacture and produce their own vaccines if we are to put an end to this pandemic.
“No other event like the COVID-19 pandemic has shown that reliance on a few companies to supply global public goods is limiting, and dangerous. In the mid- to long-term, the best way to address health emergencies and reach universal health coverage is to significantly increase the capacity of all regions to manufacture the health products they need, with equitable access as their primary endpoint.” -WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
Health Poverty Action is part of the People’s Vaccine Alliance which demands a people’s vaccine that is available to everyone, free of charge. We support the movement led by countries in the Majority World at the World Trade Organization asking for a TRIPS waiver for COVID-19 vaccines, diagnostics, and therapeutics. We also join them in demanding a mandatory pooling of all COVID-19 related knowledge, data, and technologies.