Thursday, July 22, 2021

Stop Playing Games with the Pandemic

 Although pharmaceutical companies have raked in tens of billions of dollars in revenue from distributing vaccines, which were developed with public funding, they are hardly closer to enabling low-income countries to protect their populations. 

Last month, Oxfam reported that at the current rate, it would take 57 years for every person in the Global South to be fully vaccinated against the disease.

"This crisis is the direct result of political decisions by leaders of wealthy nations, who hoard vaccines and booster shots while billions of people wait, potentially for years, for their first dose," said Public Citizen and the People's Vaccine Alliance.

"To date, Pfizer has sold over 90% of their vaccines to rich nations only, while doctors and nurses are dying daily all over the developing world," said Robbie Silverman, a spokesperson for the People's Vaccine Alliance. "Africa is facing a shortfall of hundreds of millions of vaccines now and these South African made doses won't start to be available until next year."

He added, "Charity and largely symbolic measures by corporations will not deliver vaccines for everyone, everywhere." 

 As the Olympics in Tokyo begins without any in-person spectators due to the coronavirus pandemic, more than a year after the crisis began and despite the availability of effective vaccines advocacy groups on Wednesday called on world leaders to "Stop Playing Games."

The Stop Playing Games campaign is also demanding that companies share their recipes and technology with the Global South and that the World Trade Organization waives Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) rules for Covid-19 vaccines, treatments, and diagnostics. 

New Campaign Demands World Leaders 'Stop Playing Games' and End Vaccine Apartheid | Common Dreams News

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