The Future is Equal

Oxfam India welcomes the US decision to back IP waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

The Biden Administration has caused a domino effect following the news that the USA will support the People’s Vaccine. World leaders are taking to Twitter to announce their support of the waiver including the New Zealand Government.

This news is especially critical for India where infections are soaring to over 400,000 new cases per day. Vaccines are in short supply, and the country has significant untapped capacity to produce for India’s needs and for the rest of the world. In a statement release by Oxfam India, CEO Amitabh Behar said:

“We awake today in India with some fresh new hope that there is a genuine solution possible ahead of us – that we have been heard – and that our country as well others suffering the horrific effects of rampant Covid-19 infections and death will not be forgotten and left behind.

“I am in a city where every fifteen minutes a family is losing a loved one. I am in a country which is the world’s pharmacy hub and yet people here are dying, gasping for breath. There is no-one I think in India who doesn’t know of friends or family or colleagues who have not had Covid. We are a country that is united in fearful expectation but now given a life-line in the possibility of more vaccines, which India requires quickly and in large numbers. The US decision to back the waiver of intellectual property protections for COVID-19 vaccines has taken us one step closer to having a true peoples’ vaccine – behind which India can throw its own manufacturing weight.”

Oxfam New Zealand has been a part of the choir lobbying for the New Zealand Government to back the waiver of intellectual property protections for COVID-19 vaccines and also welcomes the USA’s support. Jo Spratt Communications and Advocacy Director of Oxfam New Zealand said:

“This is a huge first step to make sure that everyone, everywhere can get a vaccine, and put an end to this pandemic that is causing so much suffering. But the fight is not over. Leaders in Europe and other rich nations must follow the Biden Administration’s lead and ensure the waiver covers all coronavirus technologies – things like PPE, ventilators and tests. We will be watching as EU and India leaders meet on Saturday 8th May, and hope Europe will signal its clear support for the TRIPS waiver.”

Notes to editors

The People’s Vaccine Alliance is a movement of health, humanitarian and human rights organisations, past and present world leaders, health experts, faith leaders and economists advocating that COVID-19 vaccines are manufactured rapidly and at scale, as global common goods, free of intellectual property protections and made available to all people, in all countries, free of charge. 

For more information and interview opportunities please contact:

DAVID BULL | Media Lead Oxfam New Zealand | +64 0274 179 724