February 9, 2022: Following the announcement of a free trade deal between Australia and the UK late last year, the text has been tabled in Parliament and a parliamentary inquiry into the agreement has been launched. The inquiry will allow civil society organisations to make submissions concerning the potential impacts of the agreement.
February 8, 2022: Scientists at a World Health Organisation (WHO) mRNA vaccine hub in South Africa are developing a COVID19 jab based on the Moderna mRNA vaccine, but it will not be mass produced until next year.
February 7, 2022: WTO meetings held in December and January have failed to agree to waive monopoles on COVID vaccines and treatments to increase global production and address the low vaccination rates of 10 per cent or less in low income countries.
This failure of the WTO process was recognised by the WTO Director-General, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who has convened informal meetings between supporters and opponents to make progress. These meeting are ongoing,
1 February, 2022: More than 320 scientists and public health experts in the UK have called on the British Government to support a waiver on vaccine patent monopolies at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) which would allow low-income countries to manufacture COVID-19 vaccines, tests, and treatments for themselves.
January 31, 2022: Speaking on ABC Radio National’s The Money, Executive Director of UNAIDS Winnie Byanyima has condemned global vaccine apartheid, saying that leaders of rich countries are “sitting back and watching a handful of companies creating billions for themselves, as people die and as the virus mutates and continues to spread.”
January 24, 2022: An MSF study shows why the COVAX donation scheme to distribute vaccines to low-income countries has fallen short of its promises for global vaccine equity. As of November 2021, more than 73% of people in high-income countries (HICs) had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, compared with less than 6% of people in low-income countries. COVAX only raised half of its target of $2billion by the end of 2021, its main sponsors have not supported proposals to share vaccine knowledge through waiving monopolies on vaccines to increase global production .
January 19, 2022: A new report from Oxfam International has detailed the growing global economic inequality caused by the COVID19 pandemic. The report, Inequality Kills, highlights how World Trade Organisation (WTO) intellectual property rules have created a “vaccine apartheid” between wealthy nations and low-income countries, “a stain on the history of our species”.
18 January, 2022: Following a World Health Organization (WHO) recommendation of the drug baricitinib as a therapeutic medicine for COVID19, public health advocates at Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) have called on the World Trade Organisation to lift intellectual property monopolies on COVID19 treatments and vaccines.
January 13, 2022: As Big Pharma continues to block efforts to lift intellectual property monopolies on COVID19 vaccines, a team of scientists in Texas have announced in the Scientific American plans to deliver a ‘COVID vaccine for all’.
12 January 2022: A group of institutional investors representing $3.5 trillion in assets under management have called on pharmaceutical companies to link their executives' pay to global vaccine equity.