“Access to vaccines, tests and treatments must not be delayed” – AFTINET joins global civil society open letter to WTO

23 February, 2022: Ahead of key meetings at the World Trade Organisation (WTO), AFTINET has joined more than 200 civil society organisations around the world in an open letter calling on the WTO to ensure that any waiver on patent monopolies goes beyond COVID19 vaccines to include treatments and tests.

The letter, addressed to WTO Director General Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, argues that for a WTO response to the pandemic to be credible, “it must deliver a bold and meaningful outcome on the TRIPS waiver proposal and address concerns about the impact of intellectual property on timely and affordable access to medical products.”

Signatories to the letter argue that “any credible waiver outcome must also equally cover the medical products essential to control COVID-19 and especially vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics, including their materials and components.”

“Testing and access to diagnostics, especially antigen rapid tests are essential to peoples’ knowledge of their health status, compliance with public health measures, connection to treatment and care, and surveillance.”

Signatories to the letter include The Third World Network, Amnesty International, MSF Access Campaign, Oxfam, and the People’s Vaccine Alliance.

  • The full open letter can be read here.