Blog: Why G7 leaders need to work much harder on vaccine access

G7 leaders are meeting this weekend in Cornwall and one of the main things they’ll be discussing is global access to COVID-19 vaccines. The world cannot be safe until everyone has access to a vaccine. So we are in a race against time to reach global coverage and prevent new variants emerging. Since January, UNISON has been calling for the right to manufacture vaccines to be made freely available, so that there can be major step change in the production of vaccines. The World Trade Organisation (WTO) agreement on intellectual property rights includes a clause to free up these rights in exceptional circumstances. If a global pandemic doesn’t meet the criteria of exceptional circumstances, then what does? A coalition of countries including India and South Africa, with the support of the World Health Organisation, the global trade union movement and many other organisations have been calling for the WTO to act. Unfortunately, a coalition of rich countries including the UK, the EU and Japan have been blocking that demand. The Biden administration in the US has recently endorsed the proposal to free-up manufacturing rights and we are calling on Boris Johnson to do the same. We need to remember that the vaccines have only been developed so quickly thanks to huge sums of public money from our government, the US government and governments in the EU. It was public money that drove the research and accelerated the manufacturing process, but we need to do more. It’...
Source: UNISON Health care news - Category: UK Health Authors: Tags: General secretary's blog Christina McAnea Covid vaccine international Source Type: news

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