Discover and read the best of Twitter Threads about #VaccineApartheid

Most recents (20)

Louis Brandeis once said, "we can have democracy in this country or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of the few, but we can't have both." It's part of a long American tradition that abhors the gathering of power into just a few hands. 1/ A picture of a flooded suburban street with a streetsign rea
But there's a countertradition in American politics: the belief in the unchecked power of plutocrats and robber-barons, who amass great fortunes, convert them into political power, and use that power to unaccountably structure the lives of millions of working people. 2/
Some Americans call this "liberty."

The tension between aristocratic aspirations and democratic limits has been part of America since the earliest days. 3/
Read 23 tweets
There's a *lot* of competition for the title of "Most On-The-Nose Symbol of Late Stage Capitalism," but I think there's a strong case for awarding the crown to #VaccineApartheid - the decision to deny covid vaccines to billions of poor people in the Global South. 1/ The Earth, floating in spac...
If you'd like an essay-formatted version of this thread to read or share, here's a link to it on, my surveillance-free, ad-free, tracker-free blog:… 2/
Here's how that went down: poor countries were arm-twisted into signing up to WTO on pain of being shut out of global trade (former colonies were forcibly converted to export crop economies that relied on rich-world countries for seed/agtech, so opting out wouldn't work). 3/
Read 42 tweets

@BioNTech-hired consultancy kENUP called for termination of WHO-backed MRNA hub whilst promoting BioNTech’s ‘paternalistic and unworkable’ proposal.

This is #VaccineApartheid
Their claims forced African biotech companies to waste time defending their work:

“I don’t understand why kENUP... tries to undermine Afrigen’s work...It drains energy that I could have spent making a vaccine”
- Petro Terblanche, MD of Afrigen Biologics and Vaccines
Any remaining pharma apologists can be left in no doubt.

Their priorities are profits, profits, profits.

People's lives, global economies, the disruptions caused by the pandemic, simply do not measure up.

Read 8 tweets
1/ So tired of smug garbage thought pieces in pubs like @TheAtlantic trivializing #COVID mass death & #HealthInequity

Thousands dying daily & cont'd health inequity means we haven't done what's needed to stop mitigations or "open" things that aren't even closed #UrgencyOfEquity
2/ Pieces like this endorse society brushing past those who remain at most risk from #COVID to move to a past inequitable "normal," while making a passing, half-hearted "that's tragic" comment about continued COVID health inequities & suffering.…
3/ Interesting that the author expressed concern that "Many white-collar workers still haven’t returned to the office" but failed to mention healthcare, retail, or factory workers. #UrgencyOfEquity #COVID
Read 22 tweets
The covid vaccine picture is awfully confusing. The current vaccines are doing a great job of preventing serious illness (at least, for people who are boosted), but they're not nearly so effective at preventing infection and transmission. 1/ A closeup looking up a gaping pair of nostrils. In each nost
What's more, the new variants are more contagious and less likely to cause severe infection, but they also appear to confer less immunity against re-infection:… 2/
At the same time, #VaccineApartheid continues to reign supreme: the WTO's vaccine waiver initiative stalled in the face of opposition from Big Pharma and the Gates Foundation, and the world's poorest people are forced to serve as reservoirs and incubators for new variants. 3/
Read 23 tweets
BREAKING: Johnson & Johnson has granted a license to South Africa's Aspen Pharmacare to manufacture an Aspen-branded version of the J&J #COVID19vaccine for distribution in Africa. #VaccineApartheid #COVID19
The agreement is the result of several months of negotiations & investment, says WTO's Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. She says WTO is holding periodic meetings with #COVID19 vaccine manufacturers & hopes agreement will be a step to decentralise #COVID19vaccine production globally.
Okonjo-Iweala says the #Omicron is another reason why #TRIPSwaiver discussions must be concluded speedily. This follows the WTO's decision to cancel its recent ministerial meeting following the variant's discovery.
Read 19 tweets
Are you low-key freaking out about #omicron? Yeah, me too. Can't we catch a break?


Step one to preventing new, scarier mutant strains is to reduce the number of infected people, which require a mix of ventilation, masking, distancing, and, of course, vaccinations. 1/ The Cuban flag, with its red triangle replaced with the red
If you'd like an unrolled version of this thread to read or share, here's a link to it on, my surveillance-free, ad-free, tracker-free blog:… 2/
These days, the "vaccine controversy" is primarily about vaccine-hesitancy and vaccine denial - that is, about people who can get the vaccine but choose not to. 3/
Read 48 tweets
1/2 With the avalanche of news about #Omicron I can't help the sense of impending doom that I felt early in the pandemic. This is compounded by knowing that this was totally avoidable. Rich countries have mismanaged most aspects of their pandemic response....
....allowed uncontrolled spread within and outside their borders, hoarded vaccines and test kits, relaxed other measures prematurely, fed us with empty promises, opposed #TRIPSwaiver, let vaccines expire and many other questionable decisions...i
Will #Omicron finally unlock some sense in the leadership of these countries? Will rich countries finally see how pointless this all is?
Or are we going to see the same old, same old racist measures of travel bans, drip drip donations and other nonsense??
Read 5 tweets
It's hard to overstate what a scam academic and scientific publishing is. 1/ A shelf of thick scientific tomes, protected by a gridwork o
It's run by an oligopoly of wildly profitable companies that coerce academics into working for free for them, and then sell the product of their labors back to the academics' employers (often public institutions) for eye-popping sums. 2/
Here's how that works: a publicly funded researcher (often working for a public institution) does some research. In order to progress up the career ladder and secure more funding, they need to publish their research in a prestigious journal. 3/
Read 21 tweets
LIVE: Wednesday 14th: 10am BST

Members of the #PeoplesVaccine alliance and more to talk vaccine access inequality, Merkel's visit to the US and how we speed up global #COVID vaccinations.

Join us 👇
On current trends it will take 57 years to get many countries vaccinated.
It's completely gross.
@nickdearden75 of @GlobalJusticeUK
Oxygen demand in Africa is now 50% greater than it was at the peak last year....
Some countries like Israel are starting to offer booster shots... whereas in many countries, even health workers have not received a shot.
It's ridiculous on so many levels
Maaza of @Afri_Alliance
Read 15 tweets
One of the weird ironies of living in the US and having family, friends and colleagues abroad is the vast, iniquitous gap in vaccine availability based on where you live, and, more particularly, whether you live in a poor country or a rich one.

1/ Take2/Polar Lights Hauned M...
If you'd like an unrolled version of this thread to read or share, here's a link to it on, my surveillance-free, ad-free, tracker-free blog:…
#VaccineApartheid is a global terror and horror, but that's not the "ironic" part. That would be the American vaccine deniers who have effectively killed the dream of herd immunity, and taken anti-vax from a threat to public health to a threat to civilization itself.

Read 25 tweets
The #G7 are failing in their duty to provide global leadership to end the COVID19 pandemic for everyone everywhere. More than 1m people have died from COVID since G7 leaders last met back in February, when they pledged to increase the global vaccine supply.
@ChathamHouse @CHGlobalHealth @UNAIDS @HelenClarkNZ @DrMikeRyan @yates_rob @G7 Of the 1.77bn doses of COVID vaccines given globally, 28% have been in @G7 countries. In contrast just 0.3% of COVID jabs have been given in low-income countries.
COVID-19 related deaths are increasingly concentrated in low- and middle-income countries. This is heart-breaking.
The scale of this inequality is not an accident. It was predictable months ago. President Ramaphosa @CyrilRamaphosa called it “#VaccineApartheid” - and it is.

Read 8 tweets
The world's 125 poorest countries (2.5b people) have received zero covid vaccine doses to date. The 85 poorest countries project vaccination in 2023/24. This is #VaccineApartheid.…

1/ The Earth, floating in space, with its southern hemisphere i
(If you'd like an unrolled version of this thread to read or share, here's a link to it on, my surveillance-free, ad-free, tracker-free blog:)…

It's not that poor countries can't make their own vaccines. The Global South has a LOT of vaccine production capacity. The problem is Big Pharma, which refuses to transfer the patents and know-how to repurpose those facilities for mRNA production.…

Read 41 tweets
“If you aren’t careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.”

—Malcolm X, December 1964…
I’m a big science fan (🧬!) and admire the stellar people whose effort has yielded—in record time—novel mRNA vaccines for #COVID19.

People like @NIH’s Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett, who brought years of prior #coronavirus research to bear on this dire crisis.…
But these aren’t the folks spotlighted in @FortuneMagazine’s World’s 50 Greatest Leaders.

Moderna & Pfizer executives are uniquely revered, even as they (and the govts backing them) uphold a system of global #VaccineApartheid.

Where are their vaccines being used? ⬇️(as of 5/14)
Read 9 tweets
A key idea from sf is "all laws are local, and no law knows how local it is." Prisoners of our own time and place, it's hard not to feel like we're living in the only possible world, is if everything around us is inevitable and natural - and any change is "unnatural."

1/  A modified New Deal-era Civilian Conservation Corps poster
(If you'd like an unrolled version of this thread to read or share, here's a link to it on, my surveillance-free, ad-free, tracker-free blog:)…

But anyone who's ever dabbled in multi-agent modeling (sims where "individuals" each have their own goals and aversions) knows there are LOTS of stable configurations that a big, complex system can fall into, and re-rerunning the same sim produces WILDLY different outcomes.

Read 39 tweets
Last week, the Biden administration broke with decades of US policy when it supported a patent waiver on covid vaccines. It was the first time in generations that the US Trade Rep acted on behalf of the people, rather than corporate greed.…

1/ The Earth, floating in space, with its southern hemisphere i
Taking steps to make vaccines universally and immediately available isn't just the right thing to do - #VaccineApartheid is slow-motion genocide - it's also the smart thing to do. Billions of unvaccinated people present quadrillions of chances for the virus to mutate.

Don't listen to the unscientific claims that viruses "tend to become less virulent" over time. Remember, the mechanism by which super-lethal strains go extinct is that they KILL ALL THEIR HOSTS (that's us, folks).

Read 20 tweets
#Pluralistic is my mutli-channel publishing effort - a project to push the limits of #POSSE (post own site, share everywhere) that allows me to maintain control over my work while still meeting my audience where they are, on platforms whose scale makes them hard to rely on.

1/ A Star Wars-esque 'hyperspa...
Every day, I write 1-5 essays and syndicate them over Twitter, Tumblr, Mastodon and email, with the canonical link at, a CC-BY licensed Wordpress site with no tracking, data-collection or ads.

Now, I've added another channel: @Medium, where I'm part of a group of paid writers who contribute a mix of original material that's exclusive to the platform and syndicated material from elsewhere.

Read 18 tweets
2.5 billion people in the Earth's 125 poorest countries have received zero vaccine doses. The 85 poorest countries are projecting full vaccination in 2023 or 2024. This isn't just a form of racist mass-killing, it's also a civilizational and species-wide risk.

1/ The Earth, floating in space, with its southern hemisphere i
Every infected person, after all, makes billions and billions of copies of the virus, and these copies are imperfect, producing mutations. Eventually, there will probably be a mutation so contagious that it bypasses vaccine-based defenses.

Worse still, if the virus circulates widely enough for enough time, the likelihood that a mutant strain will emerge that is both more infectious AND more deadly goes up and up.

A half-vaccinated world is like a swimming pool where only one end has a "no pissing" rule.

Read 19 tweets
My fellow Africans, I can say without fear that if the predicted Covid19 tsunami had hit the continent as predicted, we would've been on our own. If a catastrophic wave hits the continent, we'll be on our own, caught between clueless politicians and an uncaring global community
The unfolding catastrophe in India and in recent times in Brazil, shows how clueless politicians can easily bring a country to its knees and how the rest of the world will look on, still hoarding vaccines, opposing patent waivers & maintaining export bans.

As the rest of world races to vaccinate everyone, we are left to grapple with a future full of new variants, multiple waves, travel bans and economic collapse.
To see rich countries in business as usual mode as India faces catastrophe is unconscionable but unsurprising.
Read 5 tweets
2.5b people in Earth's 130 poorest countries have not been vaccinated. The 85 poorest countries won't be vaccinated until 2023. The humanitarian cost is unforgivable - and self-defeating, as each infected person is a potential source of new strains.…

1/ Bill Gates at his 1998 antitrust deposition; he is angry and
How the actual fuck did this happen?

What happened to the early pledges by governments, the WHO, public health experts and leading research institutions to create global cooperation in vaccine development, eschewing patents and secrecy so that we could rescue our species?

That dream was smashed.

Many people helped create our #VaccineApartheid, the single individual who did the most to get us here is Bill Gates, through his highly ideological "philanthropic" foundation, which exists to push his pitiless doctrine of unfettered monopoly.

Read 37 tweets

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