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.
February 22, 2022 Media Release: The World Trade Organisations (WTO) this week must seize the opportunity to address the global inequity in COVID19 vaccines, tests and treatments, say vaccine equity advocates. While in Australia debate has focused on the availability of free rapid antigen tests (RATs), globally there is inequitable global access to tests, vaccines and treatments that are critical to protecting people from COVID-19.
21 February, 2021: New research from Public Citizen reveals that Pfizer is roadblocking access to COVID19 treatments by filing patent applications in sixty-one countries for nirmatrelvir, a key component of its new COVID19 therapeutic drug, Paxlovid.
16 February, 2022: Two investigative reports from the British Medical Journal and Amnesty International have exposed how the pharmaceutical industry is working to undermine global efforts to tackle vaccine equity.
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 .
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.