COVID-19 Pandemic

Shocking mapping of our unvaccinated world

Thursday, October 20, 2022: In an article for Pandemic, Philip Schellekens, a Senior Advisor at World Bank Group, reports there are 2.5 billion unvaccinated people today. They have not had their first shot. A staggering 90 per cent live in the developing world and 71 per cent in the poorer half of the world. Tracking the COVID-19 unvaccinated across countries rich and poor highlights the regressive outcome of the global vaccination campaign so far.

First ISDS case over COVID-19 pandemic regulation lodged against Chile

September 15, 2022: The first known Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) claim concerning COVID-19 pandemic-related regulation was registered by French airport operating companies ADP International and Vinci Airports in August 2021 against Chile. The companies are arguing that Chile’s decision to close its borders during the height of the pandemic cost them US$37 million.

Australian vaccine production hub should share technology and know-how for global vaccine justice

August 16, 2022: Yesterday the Australian and Victorian governments announced a 10 year contract for public funding for pharmaceutical company Moderna  to partner with Monash University to produce mRNA vaccines in Australia.

The manufacturing project aims to protect Australians against future pandemics, support local industry and create highly skilled local jobs, all of which are welcome goals. The project follows a separate research initiative of  Monash University and the Doherty Institute which is conducting clinical trials for a new generation vaccine designed to protect against the Omicron variant.

Civil society urges more government action for equitable global access to COVID medical products

MEDIA RELEASE   August 9, 2022: National fair trade, public health, human rights and aid and development organisations have written to the Trade Minister and other relevant ministers urging them to take further action to address the continuing shocking global inequity of access to Covid 19 vaccines treatments and other products. While over 80% of people in Australia have had two vaccination, and treatments are now available, only 20% in low income countries have had one vaccination and there is even less access to treatments.

Health experts warn global COVID vaccine inequity persists as Australia has surplus of millions

July 18, 2022: The ABC reports that over the last two years, the  Federal government purchased 255 million vaccines from four pharmaceutical companies, with 60 million administered around the country, and roughly 40 million doses donated around the Indo-Pacific region. Even with the expected increased uptake of third and fourth doses over winter, Australia may have a surplus of over 100 million doses, some of which are due to expire.

Civil society groups say WTO decision on COVID-19 monopolies is weak and unworkable

Media Release                                                                                                      June 17, 2022

After nearly two years of delay, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Ministerial Conference has produced a weak decision on COVID-19 medicine monopolies which covers only vaccines, excludes non-patent intellectual property barriers, and contains restrictions which are more onerous than some existing WTO rules. This condemns the world’s most vulnerable people to inequitable access to vaccines and treatments. They will continue to die in greater numbers than those lucky enough to live in high income countries.

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