The call for COVID-19 vaccine equality “isn’t just about sharing what vaccines are currently being produced; it’s about ensuring we have enough vaccines produced quickly enough for the world’s population,” the Trocaire official clarifies.
She goes on to caution, “Unless production is quickly ramped up around the world to meet global demand, there simply will not be enough supply for all the countries in need.”
As a way forward, the CEO of Trocaire calls for the waiver of intellectual property rights “so South Africa, Brazil and India can ramp up production of cheaper vaccines.”
“More than 100 countries are calling on the World Trade Organization (WTO) to provide such a waiver,” she said, adding that the European Union (EU) “stands in the way and is trying to block this waiver.”
With a key agenda of the WTO two-day General Council meeting starting on March being the discussion on the waiver of intellectual rights on COVID-19 vaccines and other related technologies, the Trocaire head says it would “be an appropriate day for Ireland to support this intellectual property waiver and to try and persuade the EU to stand on the right side of history.”
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“This moment will be remembered for decades to come,” she says and continues, “Either as the moment when rich nations like Ireland sided with pharmaceutical corporations rather than with the needs of humanity, or as the moment where humanity came together to defeat this indiscriminate disease.”
Trocaire officials are the latest to address the issue of COVID-19 vaccine production and distribution.
On February 26, Jesuits in Africa and Madagascar (JCAM) joined over 100 countries across the globe to petition the G20 countries to support the waiver of the patent rights on coronavirus vaccines submitted to WTO last year.
On the same day, the leadership of Caritas Internationalis called on the international community to promote the local production of COVID-19 vaccine in poor countries, including those in Africa.
First celebrated on 1 March 2014, the Zero Discrimination Day aims to promote equality before the law and in practice throughout all of the member countries of the United Nations.