Public Services International welcomes the announcement by the Biden administration of support for a suspension of intellectual property rights for Covid-related vaccines, and to “participate in text-based negotiations at the World Trade Organization (WTO).”
Since October 2020, PSI has been demanding for rich countries to agree to the TRIPS waiver and share the vaccine, and other health products, such a diagnostics, PPE, and upcoming medicines.
We are confident that more countries will follow the line of the USA government. As is the case for New Zealand which, only a few hours after the US announcement, decided to support the vaccine waiver. And the European Union for the first time said it was ready to discuss what Ursula von der Leyen called a “U.S. proposal for a waiver for Covid-19 vaccines”.
It’s time for us to urge the EU, UK, Switzerland, Australia, Japan, Brazil & Norway to follow suit.
Rosa Pavanelli PSI General Secretary
We need a strong waiver that is not only about vaccines, but also about upcoming medicines
Across the world, frontline workers are making huge sacrifices to save lives while people grow furious at vaccination delays. We call on all the other rich countries to desist from putting big pharma's profits ahead of ramping up vaccine production.
PSI General Secretary Rosa Pavanelli says: "The waiver has already been delayed too much and the actual text of the waiver will only now come under scrutiny. We need the negotiations to be speed up and we need a strong outcome. A strong waiver that is not only about vaccines, but also about up-coming medicines, a strong waiver that will create pathways for generic versions of existing vaccines to be produced, a strong waiver that lasts for as long as the pandemic lasts, a strong waiver that is practical to use for countries that decide to do so".
The decision from the Biden administration comes on the back of immense efforts by a range of organisations, including PSI affiliates and the trade union movement across the world. We are proud of the efforts of our affiliates and allies in this collective campaign efforts. We will continue our efforts until the negotiations conclude with a meaningful outcome.
Stop blocking wider production of a #PeoplesVaccine. Choose people’s health over pharma profits! Support #TRIPSWaiver