City Council supports global vaccination effort
The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University reports that as of March 11, 2022, there have been 453,387,068 cases and 6,028,428 deaths attributed to COVID-19 worldwide.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 694,725,135 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been delivered across the country as of March 11, 2022, and 216,449,810 people (more than 65% of the US population) are considered fully vaccinated.
More than 10.9 billion doses of vaccine have been administered worldwide and around 50% of the world’s population is now fully immunized, mainly in the wealthiest countries, but more than 3 billion people worldwide have not not yet received a single dose.
A resolution proposed by Councilor Breadon states that “Failure to vaccinate the world’s population as quickly as possible will allow the virus to continue to mutate and develop resistance to existing vaccines, as confirmed by the emergence of Omnicron variant”.
Moderna and Pfizer currently have patent protections on the COVID-19 vaccine. On October 2, 2020, India and South Africa requested a temporary waiver of patent, trade secret and other intellectual property protections required by the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Aspects of Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) on COVID-19 related health technologies. Such protections give pharmaceutical companies monopoly control over the production, price, and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. This waiver would end the ability of vaccine originators to block production and provide the legal certainty needed for governments and investors to begin building pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities and repurposing existing ones, thereby accelerating the global vaccine effort.
Moderna declined to support the TRIPS waiver.
This week, the Council formally urged the Biden administration to step up its efforts to meet the WTO’s TRIPS waiver, and urged Moderna and Pfizer to commit to an immediate and full transfer of vaccine technology.