Prioritize immediate access to life-saving COVID-19 vaccines for “billions” of people in the Global South over obscene profits for pandemic profiteering Big Pharma, UN human rights experts tell the leaders of the world’s largest economies ahead of this weekend's G7 summit in the UK.
COVID-19 was a "preventable disaster" that became a pandemic due a lack "global political leadership," according to a recent report issued by a WHO-appointed high-level panel co-chaired by former Liberian President Johnson Sirleaf, a Nobel Peace Laureate and Africa’s first democratically elected female head of state, and Helen Clark, the former prime minister of New Zealand.
COVID-19 is "still evolving" and "progressing around the world," threatening to make the second year of the global pandemic "more deadlier than the first,” WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned this week.
The United States will endorse a motion at the World Trade Organization seeking to waive draconian patent and related intellectual property protections that have thus far prevented the world from achieving global COVID-19 vaccines equity, the Biden-Harris administration announced this week. Pope Francis announced his support of “universal access to the vaccine” and condemned the “virus of individualism” that “makes us indifferent to the suffering of others”.
"It is not surprising, therefore, that there is now a vast global coalition of NGOs, states and UN agencies that favour the recognition of vaccines (and health in general) as a public good and not a business, and the consequent temporary suspension of patent rights."
This week, the global death toll from COVID-19 topped 3 million, and cases topped 140 million, two heartbreaking milestones accompanied by burgeoning global COVID-19 vaccine “apartheid”, emerging deadly virus variants and mutations, increasing prevalence of vaccine “blood clots” and side-effects, vaccination pauses and restrictions, and the racist politics around the global distribution of life-saving vaccines.
The ongoing global rollout of life-saving vaccines no longer guarantees victory over COVID-19 as new "variants of concern" are now emerging and rapidly spreading worldwide, "putting current pandemic control efforts, including vaccination, at risk of being derailed," a group of leading health experts from around the world argues in this joint op-ed.