Responding to an International Labour Organisation’s report, “ILO Monitor: COVID-19 and the World of Work”, campaigners have called global vaccine inequality “a collective act of social and economic self-harm”.
The People’s Vaccine Alliance, a coalition of more than 75 organisations including Oxfam, UNAIDS, Global Justice Now, and Amnesty International, is calling on governments to support a waiver of intellectual property rules on COVID-19 vaccines, diagnostics, and treatments at the World Trade Organisation, and to pressure pharmaceutical companies to share the technology and know-how behind their vaccines with the World Health Organisation.
Commenting on behalf of the People’s Vaccine Alliance, Alex Maitland, Oxfam’s Private Sector Senior Advisor:
“This report is a stark reminder that allowing COVID-19 to run rampant in the Global South is a collective act of social and economic self-harm that devastates jobs, businesses, and communities across the world. Women and young people have borne the brunt of job losses while pharmaceutical companies have reaped billions from vaccine monopolies.
“Governments like the UK and Germany, who are defending vaccine patents at all costs, must stop holding up the global recovery. If they want to avoid an ever-deepening global jobs crisis, they need to waive intellectual property on COVID-19 vaccines and force pharmaceutical companies to share their vaccine technology with the world.”