Today, African Union and European Union leaders discussed the global vaccine rollout and calls to support the current proposal at the World Trade Organisation (WTO), tabled by India and South Africa and backed by 100 countries, to temporarily suspend intellectual property rules for Covid-19 vaccines, tests, and treatments.
In response, Peter Kamalingin, Oxfam Pan Africa Programme Director said:
“EU leaders continue to make a song and dance about the importance of their relationship with the African continent. Yet they once again put the interests of their profit-hungry pharmaceutical corporations first. The point-blank refusal to even consider the waiver at this summit is shameful and an insult to the millions of people in poorer countries who have needlessly lost loved ones because of vaccine inequity. While Europeans are getting boosters, nearly 90 per cent of Africans are yet to have their initial two doses.
“What Africans need is equal and fair access to vaccines. The ‘charity model’ has failed. Europe has already thrown away more vaccines than they donated to African countries this year. It is time for African leaders, governments and people around the world to seriously call into question Europe’s commitment to their so-called ‘partnership of equals’.
“Instead of siding with Big Pharma who are making billions out of vaccines, the EU and European countries must stop kicking the can down the road and support the full waiver and insist the vaccine technology is shared. This is the only way to ensure we can supply and distribute vaccines, tests and treatments – to everyone, everywhere and bring an end to this pandemic.”
Notes to editors
- Just over 1 in 10 people (at 11 per cent) living on the African continent have received two doses. Meanwhile, people in Europe already have their third dose.
- Oxfam research showed the EU is set to bin 25 million more vaccine doses than it has donated to Africa this year.
- Oxfam research has shown that Big Pharma, through their monopolistic control of the vaccine, is raking in 1,000 dollars every second.