March 4, 2022: Pandemic of Greed a new Report by Oxfam uses measures of excess deaths to estimate that 19.6 million people have died from COVID-19, over three times the official death toll. Based on this analysis, Oxfam calculated that for every death in a high-income country, an estimated four other people have died in a low or lower-middle income country.
World Trade Organisation
24 February: In an opinion article in The Guardian, AFTINET Convenor Dr Patricia Ranald has explained how the global trade system is failing to put public health before profit, and what the World Trade Organisation (WTO) must do to address global inequity in access to pandemic medicines
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.
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,
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 11, 2022: The World Trade Organisation General Council met virtually on January 10. This was a response to India’s recent proposal to hold an urgent virtual Ministerial Conference on the WTO’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including a proposed temporary waiver of WTO intellectual property rules on vaccine monopolies, which would enable production of affordable vaccines in low-income countries.
December 21, 2021: After the WTO Ministerial Conference (MC12) was postponed in November, discussions on the proposal to lift vaccine patent monopolies (known as the ‘TRIPS waiver’) have intensified, as WTO Ministers from South Africa, India, the United States and the European Union met online to discuss a way forward and find common ground.
December 16, 2021: Nobel Laureate in economics, Joseph Stiglitz, has called on the new German Chancellor Olaf Scholz to support a proposal at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to lift intellectual property patents on COVID19 vaccines.
December 16, 2021: As World Trade Organisation (WTO) delegates meet today to discuss a proposal to temporarily lift vaccine intellectual property patents, vaccine equity advocates are calling for immediate action amid a ‘tsunami’ of Omicron cases.