People Before Profit has reiterated their call for the Irish government to back the waiving of intellectual property rights following the decision by the US Administration.
TD Gino Kenny, the party’s spokesperson on health, will make the call for Ireland to follow the US lead during questions to the Minister for Health in the Dáil this afternoon.
He will say: “It is now incumbent on the Irish government to make a stand and push for the waiving of vaccine intellectual property rights. It is something that People Before Profit have been calling on the government to do since the foundation of the People’s Vaccine campaign by Oxfam.
“In order to end the Covid crisis we need all countries in the world to be able to avail of vaccine stocks. If the west is vaccinated but the global south remains in a pandemic, then it means that there is a high likelihood of new variants emerging which could prolong the global pandemic even further.”
Paul Murphy TD, the party’s spokesperson on trade, said: “In February the head of UNAIDS told the Oireachtas that “big pharmaceutical companies are protecting their monopolies on technology and intellectual property and thus restricting production.” We cannot continue to allow the greed of big pharma to delay the roll out of vaccines worldwide. Due to the need for consensus at the WTO meeting in June it is important that all the major global players back this move so that we can end this pandemic and also have a just distribution of vaccines. What world leaders need to understand is that if not everyone is safe from this pandemic then no one is safe.”
Gino Kenny TD concluded: ‘This afternoon I will put it to Minister Donnelly that Ireland should take the lead among the European countries in supporting the call for a waiver of the WTO Trips and put it to EU member States to follow suit. Support for the waiver must be unanimous and the pharmaceutical industry must be left in no doubt about where Ireland and the EU stand on this critical issue of global vaccine equity’.