The G7 club of the rich western countries – meeting on Feb 19 – is in the spotlight for hoarding surplus supplies of vaccines.
Scandalously, in a vaccine ‘market’ of extreme scarcity, 130 countries across the world have yet to begin any vaccination programmes.
Aware of the criticism they are coming under, Western governments have ‘a vaccine-aid policy’, via such schemes as Covax. But this will supply under 3% of the most vulnerable people in the middle- and lower-income countries over the next six months.
Meanwhile, the G7 (Canada, France, Germany Italy Britain, Japan and the US) are pushing through their market-driven vaccination programme – in partnership with Big Pharma.
This is a ‘Western countries first’ policies that make poorer countries suffer.
If the virus continues to circulate in any part of the world, it risks developing new strains, which in turn risks undoing any immunity built up in other parts of the world.
There is a solution. Remove all intellectual property on vaccines and publicise the scientific formula for how they can be produced.
Companies like Pfizer, Moderna, however, insist on having patents on their vaccines. They are in this for a profit – not primarily public health.
Vaccine programmes nationally and internationally should be separated from the profit motive. Patents and intellectual property should be suspended. We need to set the precedent of establishing public pharmaceutical companies that research and develop medicines for the public good and not for profit.
On Friday 26th February, People Before Profit is urging all supporters to join an online protest to demand patent-free vaccines. Tweet, create images, post on social media your protests about Big Pharma. Demand a People’s Vaccine to crush Covid 19.