Vaccine nationalism causing ‘CATASTROPHIC’ poverty crisis (Oxfam GB’s Anna Marriott) E1029
We speak to Anna Marriott of Oxfam GB and the People’s Vaccine Alliance. She discusses the Peoples Vaccine Alliance campaign for a patent-free global public coronavirus vaccine, the G7’s ‘failure’ to help bring the pandemic under control, how they have donated under a billion vaccine doses when 11 million are needed, how big pharma prioritising profit and governments refusing to lift patents on vaccines is damaging the developing world and plunging millions into poverty, and much more! We speak to South Sudan’s Ambassador to the UK Agnes Oswaha. She discusses the first 10 years of South Sudan’s existence and the difficulties posed by natural disasters like floods and locusts, the coronavirus situation there, Chinese investment into the country, South Sudan’s geopolitics with the US, UK and China competing for influence, alleged US pressure on South Sudan to stop deepening ties with China, and much more!
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We contacted the European Commission about allegations made in this show and they said: “In relation to the broad waiver proposed by a number of WTO members, the European Commission, while ready to discuss any option that helps end the pandemic as soon as possible, is not convinced that this would provide the best immediate response to reach the objective of the widest and timely distribution of COVID-19 vaccines that the world urgently needs. The EU’s proposals to WTO (submitted on 4 June) aim at achieving that objective in a swift and effective manner.
The priority for the EU is to ramp up production of COVID vaccines to achieve global vaccination. The EU is at the forefront of deliveries of effective vaccines to the rest of the world: so far, more than 400 million doses have been exported outside the EU. As many as have been delivered to Europeans (by end of June). In the short term, we maintain that it is key for all vaccine producing countries to allow export immediately and to avoid measures that disrupt the supply chains.
Vaccine production requires complicated biological processes, involving know-how, technology, skilled personnel and infrastructure. It is not by simply waving intellectual property rights that safe and effective vaccines can be produced, but rather by collaboration between those that have the knowledge and those that have the capacity.
If voluntary solutions fail and intellectual property becomes a barrier to treatments or vaccines against COVID-19, the necessary mechanisms are already available under the TRIPS Agreement. This is why the EU presented specific proposals on how to facilitate the use of compulsory licencing in the context of a pandemic. This is a practical response to the specific concerns related to potential difficulties for making use of this existing TRIPs flexibilities. The EU is engaged in a text-based process in the TRIPs Council to ensure that the IPR regime supports efforts to enhance access to COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics.
This is also why Europe committed EUR 1 billion to create with our African partners and our industrial partners manufacturing hubs in different regions in Africa.”