A People’s Vaccine or Apartheid Vaccine? Challenging WTO and Big Pharma
Access to health technologies (vaccines, medicines, diagnostics, PPE, ventilators etc) depends on the ability for distributed local production. Nationalism and protectionism on these technologies has implied a sustained struggle to get sufficient access to meet population needs, and global measures such as CTAP (for voluntary patent pooling) and COVAX (for vaccine and technology pooling) have not had the support that matches need. One of the barriers is the patent protection in the TRIPS agreement. On 18 January the WHO DG issued a warning that the world is on the verge of a “catastrophic moral failure” due to the denial of COVID-19 vaccines to developing and poorest countries.
I speak with Leslie London, Professor of Public Health in the School of Public Health and Family Medicine University at the Cape Town, and Jens Pedersen from Medicins Sans Frontiers