COVID-19 Pandemic

Covid medicine monopolies waiver can accelerate global vaccine rollout: major reports

October 11, 2021: Two major reports have exposed the failings of the current system of global vaccine production and distribution, recommending both increased emergency donations of vaccines and the temporary waiver of intellectual property (IP) rights at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to enable production of cheap vaccines in low-income countries.

Campaign for global vaccine equity featured on ABC News

October 6, 2021: The campaign for a “TRIPS Waiver” has been featured across ABC News, with AFTINET Convenor Dr. Patricia Ranald telling ABC Radio National AM that the COVID pandemic represents an enormous challenge for the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the international community:

“If the WTO cannot respond to the needs of the majority of people in the world … who are saying, 'We need this waiver of monopolies in order to be able to save millions of lives,' then I think this will be a significant failure for the World Trade Organization."

Global civil society demands access to vaccines and broader reforms ahead of the WTO Ministerial Conference

29 September 2021: As the COVID pandemic continues to devastate low-income countries, 206 major civil society groups have called on the World Trade Organization (WTO) to change WTO rules for monopolies on vaccines that result in “vaccine apartheid”, and to work towards “a new vision of multilateralism which will result in ecological stability and shared prosperity”. The WTO is preparing for a Ministerial meeting in November.

National organisations urge PM to act against vaccine monopolies at President Biden’s vaccines summit and Quad meeting this week

Media Release                                                                            September 22, 2021

National public health, church, union, human rights, aid and development and environment organisations today called on the Prime Minister to support the proposal to waive WTO rules for vaccine monopolies in global talks this week, and show its support by becoming a formal sponsor.

Australia has finally backed a plan to let developing countries make cheap COVID-19 vaccines — what matters is what it does next

September 14, 2021: After months of holding out, Australia has at last joined other members of the World Trade Organisation in backing a waiver of patents and other intellectual property rights on vaccines, treatments, diagnostic tests and devices needed to fight COVID-19.

Latrobe University Associate Professor in Public Health, Dr Deborah Gleeson, explains why Australia should now take action in  The Conversation today.

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