In order to help build the campaign to ensure affordable access to Covid-19 vaccines and treatments for everyone, no matter where they live, we're asking local, regional and national organisations from across the UK to add their support to this statement.
- See which organisations have already signed here
- If you want to support as an individual, you can sign this petition
Call for a People’s Vaccine
We welcome the new Covid-19 vaccines that will help save lives and end this global pandemic. But rich countries have been racing to hoard vaccines in advance and now have enough doses to vaccinate their populations almost three times over, while 9 in 10 people in the poorest countries will not get a vaccine.
We are facing a global scarcity because pharmaceutical companies hold patents on their vaccines and this means that no one else can make or supply their vaccine. They also keep the knowledge of how to make their vaccine under wraps, making it very difficult to replicate the process.
With no other company able to make the vaccine, there just won’t be enough for everyone who needs one and it is countries in the global south that will be at the back of the queue.
Inequality of access is not just unfair but will also delay the end of this pandemic. Leaving large parts of the world without a vaccine allows the virus to mutate making the effective vaccines of today, useless tomorrow.
To ensure all countries can access much needed Covid-19 vaccines and treatments, we are calling for the following:
- Pharmaceutical companies and research institutions should share their technology, know-how and intellectual property on Covid-19 vaccines and treatments through the World Health Organisation’s Covid-19 Technology Access Pool.
- All governments should support the proposal submitted by the governments of India and South Africa to waiver the relevant chapters of the World Trade Organisation global agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) for the prevention, containment and treatment of Covid-19.
- All governments should issue compulsory licenses1 for any patented technologies that are useful for tackling Covid-19 where patient access is restricted by intellectual property rights.
- Governments who have funded research and development should impose conditions on all public funding committed to developing Covid-19 vaccines and treatments to ensure there are no monopolies on publicly funded health products.
- The Gavi Board2 should make urgent changes to the COVAX Facility3 to push for at-cost prices, fair allocation between self-financing and funded countries, transparency and support for the Covid-19 Technology Access Pool.
We need a People’s Vaccine not a profit vaccine
1. Governments can override patents by issuing a ‘compulsory licence’ to allow a generic manufacturer to make a branded vaccine or treatment.
2. Gavi is a public–private organisation that rolls out immunisation programmes in low income countries. During the pandemic it has been tasked with coordinating a global Covid-19 vaccine purchasing programme, known as the COVAX Facility.
3. The COVAX Facility has been set up to pool procurement of Covid19 vaccines globally but makes no demands of pharmaceutical companies to lift their patents or to charge at-cost prices.