Vaccine Equity Coalition Warns ‘Pathetic Charity Runoff’ Will Not End Pandemic
Faced with the global coronavirus of US President Joe Biden Mountain peak later this week, the People’s Vaccine Alliance is warning rich countries that mere promises to give poor countries extra doses won’t be enough to shut down the massif – and enlargementâA vaccination gap that has left billions of people without access to life-saving vaccines.
“With up to 10,000 people dying every day, it will be enough to redistribute the rights to produce the vaccines.”
In a virtual event Wednesday on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, Biden is expected to push other wealthy countries to join the United States in taking action to ensure that 70% of the world’s population is vaccinated by next September. But experts argue that the president’s plan to achieve that goal is gravely inadequate, relying heavily on the vaccine charity that has yet to make more than a small dent in global inequality.
The People’s Vaccine Alliance, a coalition of more than 75 human rights and public health organizations from around the world, valued As of Tuesday, only 13% of the roughly billion vaccine doses that G7 countries pledged to give in June have been delivered so far – a lag that has allowed Covid-19 to continue to plague the regions poor as rich countries begin to deploy recall campaigns.
Even as they begin offering third injections to certain groups, including the elderly and the immunocompromised, new research shows rich countries are still expected to waste 100 million doses of the vaccine by the end of the year. and up to 800 million by mid-2022. The ONE Campaign, a global anti-poverty group, estimates that G7 countries will soon be sitting on enough excess doses to provide an injection to every adult in Africa.
“Rich countries selfishly care about themselves but change us all. We need bold solutions now, not empty gestures,” said Dinah Fuentesfina, campaign manager at ActionAid International on Tuesday. âEnough is enough, we have to put people before profits. We need a popular vaccine now. “
The World Health Organization (WHO) has noted He hopes to help all countries immunize at least 10% of their population by the end of September and 40% by the end of 2021, modest goals that will not be met if current production and distribution trends persist. Globally, according to Our world in data, only 1.9% of people in low-income countries have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine.
Earlier this month, COVAX, a WHO-supported global immunization initiative,reduced its forecast of available doses in 2021 of about a quarter, warning that its ability to obtain and distribute injections to low- and middle-income countries has been “hampered” by the “prioritization of bilateral agreements by manufacturers and countries” .
Biden administration says US donated over 140 million doses of vaccine, many of which have been shipped via COVAX. But the connoisseurs estimate that 13 billion doses will be needed to end the global pandemic.
Instead of bilateral deals and inadequate charity, the People’s Vaccine Alliance argued that rich countries and drug companies should share essential vaccine technology and know-how with manufacturers around the world, a a step that would allow low-income countries to increase regional production.
Failure to do so, the coalition warns, would prolong the deadly pandemic and increase the likelihood that even more dangerous variants – perhaps vaccine-resistant mutations – will emerge.
“Rich countries continue to offer pathetic nets of charity while protecting monopolies of pharmaceutical companies and denying protection to billions of people,” Maaza Seyoum of the People’s Vaccine Alliance in Africa said Tuesday. “With up to 10,000 people dying every day, it will be enough to redistribute the rights to produce the vaccines.”
But rich countries and major vaccine makers, keen to protect their bottom line, have blocked a World Trade Organization (WTO) effort to temporarily relinquish intellectual property protections that have tightened monopoly control of the industry. pharmaceutical on production. Pharmaceutical giants have also refused to voluntarily participate in technology transfer efforts, including the WHO initiative in South Africa.
And despite pressure from advocacy groups and a leading scientist who helped develop key vaccine technology, the Biden administration has so far refused to use US government ownership of a key patent to force pharmaceutical companies to share their recipes with the world.
âThe US government has the recipe for the world’s most effective Covid-19 vaccine and may choose to share this knowledge to help manufacture billions of additional doses over the coming year,â said Peter Maybarduk, director of Public Citizen’s Global Access to Medicines Program. “The World Health Organization has established an mRNA manufacturing center in South Africa and will need much more ambitious support than that rich countries have offered so far. Ending the pandemic is a choice.”
On the eve of the Biden Covid-19 summit, the People’s Vaccine Alliance urged the US president to use the virtual rally to:
- Urgently reach agreement on a waiver of intellectual property rules before the TRIPS Council in October, so that all qualified manufacturers, especially those in developing countries, are able to produce Covid vaccines;
- Make legally binding commitments to immediately share vaccine doses, so that the most vulnerable and those working on the front lines in developing countries are protected, before rich countries give a third injection to healthy adults; and
- Use all available powers to compel pharmaceutical companies to share technology and know-how with C-TAP and the mRNA hub in South Africa and ensure that there is sufficient funding for the transfer of technology to occur.
“President Biden’s shameful inaction results in countless preventable deaths in the south of the world,” Asia Russell, executive director of the Health Global Access Project. “President Biden must use his world stage at the Covid-19 summit to call for the swift passage of a robust TRIPS waiver at the WTO. The world cannot tolerate another day of its deadly delays.”