UK government: Drop vaccine patents

The Biden administration is now backing a proposal to suspend patent rules on Covid-19 vaccines for the duration of the pandemic. Within hours, other rich countries started showing signs they might back the proposal put forward by South Africa and India, and supported by over 100 nations to suspend intellectual property rules on all Covid-19 vaccines, treatments and tests.

However, the UK still opposes the proposal.

Every day in which we are not fully using our global production capacity to make the volumes needed by the world, costs lives. Countries in the global south are set to wait up to 2024 for widespread vaccination.

Vaccine inequality means more preventable deaths and higher risk of mutations, bringing us all back to square one.

The UK government needs to act now. The rich countries’ united front is cracking and we need to pile on the pressure to force the UK government to change its position.

Tell the UK government to put lives before profits and back the proposal to suspend intellectual property rules on Covid-19 vaccines and treatments

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Big Pharma companies refuse to give up their monopolies over life-saving technologies, which have been developed with billions of public funds. Suspending intellectual property rules on Covid-19 health products will allow other manufactures to make vaccines. It also need to be accompanied by the transfer of know-how which can be done through the World Health Organisation’s technology access pool (C-TAP). Though, not a single pharmaceutical company with a viable vaccine has joined yet.

The UK promises more money for COVAX, the vaccine procurement programme but at the same time it is buying up the available doses for domestic use and exacerbating global vaccine apartheid.