Act now for low-income countries to get access to COVID-19 vaccines: email your MP

September 6, 2021: Under World Trade Organization (WTO) rules, a few pharmaceutical companies have 20-year monopoly patents on COVID-19 vaccines and treatments, and each government must negotiate with them on prices and quantities. Rich countries are first in line, but even Australia is experiencing delays. Low-income countries must wait years while the pandemic rages, more infectious strains like Delta develop, and millions more die.

Polling shows 62% of Australians want our Government to support a temporary waiver to trade rules that would expand global production of vaccines and enable access for low-income countries.

Pharmaceutical companies lobbying against the waiver have already made billions from vaccines which were largely developed with public funds.

The World Health Organisation, over 100 developing countries, the US and New Zealand are supporting the waiver, but Australia is stalling. The WTO operates on consensus and the support of all member countries is needed.

We need to step up the pressure.

Email your federal MP and ask them to tell the Trade Minister Dan Tehan to support the temporary waiver to allow low-income countries to get access to COVID-19 vaccines and treatments.