The fairest and most effective way to end this pandemic is to ensure that everyone, everywhere has access to COVID-19 vaccines, tests and treatments. But pharmaceutical company monopolies could leave countries in the global south waiting until 2023 for widespread vaccination. This leaves us all in danger from new variants which may make current vaccines ineffective.
People around the world are calling for a #PeoplesVaccine – freely available to everyone, everywhere. Join them!
Restricting vaccine supply to protect profits during a pandemic will cost countless lives. The more the virus is left to circulate, the greater the chance of new variants emerging and our current vaccines becoming ineffective.
This is unacceptable and threatens us all: no-one is safe until everyone is safe.
We can address vaccine inequity by temporarily waiving intellectual property rights to vaccines and by encouraging pharmaceutical companies to share their know-how, so that the manufacture of vaccines can be scaled up to meet demand.
Call on the Irish government now to take a stand for fairness, equality and global health. Sign this petition now.
On the 8 July 2021 we marked the official launch of our national campaign for a People’s Vaccine with over 300 guests.
A recording of the event and clips of our guest speakers are available now. So make sure you share the important insight and messages our guest speakers, including Dr. Mike Ryan from the WHO and Winnie Byanyima from UNAIDS, shared at our launch.
Read more about our launch event guest speakers here.
Members of the People's Vaccine Alliance Ireland include: Access to Medicines Ireland, ACET, Action Aid Ireland, Amnesty International Ireland, AMRI, Centre for Global Education , Christian Aid Ireland, Comhlamh, Doctors for Vaccine Equity, Friends of the Earth Ireland,GOAL, Gorey Malawi Health Partnership, ICCL, Irish Congress of Trade Unions, Irish General Practice Nurses Educational Association, Irish Global Health Network, Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation, Misean Cara, Oxfam Ireland, Plan International Ireland,Trinity Centre for Global Health, Trócaire, Voluntary Service International, 80:20 Educating and Acting for a Better World
Well, the people I would say. There is no patent. Could you patent the sun?
Pharmaceutical corporations use patents and other intellectual property rights to stop other companies from making the vaccines or medicines they have developed. We are saying that in these unprecedented times, companies should share their knowledge and not enforce intellectual property rights in the interests of public health.
But intellectual property is not the only barrier. Vaccines are not as straightforward as many other medicines to copy and many are made of biological material. Therefore, it is important that corporations and research institutions also share the know-how, biological material and technology behind their vaccine with other companies that could manufacture them. We have seen some bilateral examples of this. For example, Astra Zeneca has licensed production to companies in India, Brazil and in Argentina. However, this process should not be left to the goodwill of individual corporations or subject to secretive deals. The WHO COVID-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP) provides a global mechanism for such sharing. The C-TAP can promote technology transfer and the licensing of production to more companies and institutions that are able to manufacture safe and effective vaccines in order to maximise supply.
This is simply not true. Experienced vaccine manufacturers who are willing to make hundreds of millions of doses have come forward from all over the world to say they are ready to produce if intellectual property barriers were removed and the vaccine recipe and know-how shared.
COVAX is an advanced procurement and distribution programme which aims to secure access for poorer countries. While it is encouraging that at least 170 countries have agreed to work together under COVAX, this programme does not aim to increase vaccine manufacturing capacity and has fallen considerable short of its modest target to vaccinate 30% adult population because the extra vaccines simply are not there, due to artificial constraints on expanding manufacturing capacity.
The science is clear: The fairest and most effective way to end this pandemic is to ensure that everyone, everywhere has access to COVID-19 vaccines.
Global access to COVID-19 vaccines is also in our self-interest as ongoing outbreaks anywhere mean greater risk of new variants developing against which our vaccines may not be effective.
There simply is no way to defeat COVID-19 in Ireland without united action worldwide. But pharmaceutical company monopolies could leave countries in the global south waiting until 2023 for widespread vaccination and this is where we would ask for your support.
In order to produce sufficient vaccines for everyone globally, we need to greatly increase manufacturing capacity and all suitably qualified vaccine manufacturers must be permitted to produce vaccines free from patents and pharmaceutical companies must agree to share their know-how. We need a People’s Vaccine.