Despite global vaccine shortages, the EU, US, UK and other rich governments continue to block wider vaccine production globally by obstructing the #TRIPSwaiver at the WTO.

But pressure on these governments to stop prioritizing pharma company profits over human lives is growing.
Media attention is only growing...

The flagship @BBCNewsnight had an excellent long piece on the issue at the end of last week:

Even major media outlets that you might generally expect to lean toward the companies' view are producing excellent reporting highlighting the problem.

This from the WSJ, for example:…
The White House is reportedly divided between pro-profit and pro-humanity camps...…
The EU also seems to be split, with some voices at the Commission hinting they disagree with the EU policy to block wider vaccine production globally...
Global pressure has been building for months...

The #TRIPSwaiver - a proposal at the World Trade Organization (WTO) to temporarily waive some intellectual property rules for medical products - was initially led by India & South Africa in October:…
The #TRIPSwaiver is backed by:

✅ Over 100 governments:…

✅ Past presidents & prime ministers and Nobel laureates:…

✅ Major international NGOs:
The #TRIPSwaiver is also backed by:

✅ Medical experts:…

✅ The head of the WHO:…

✅ Hundreds of European lawmakers:…

✅ US lawmakers:…

✅ Trade unions:…
Opposed to all of us are those who want to continue prioritizing profits over human lives.

For 7 months they have been fighting the #TRIPSwaiver

When it was first proposed in early October, some 1 million of us had died of Covid.

Today, the death toll is over 3.2 million.
The numbers make clear that the current profit-first system of global vaccinations is not working.

Over 4 months into the rollout, only 3.5% of the world has been fully vaccinated.

It's estimated that 70% is needed for herd immunity.

At this rate, it will take years.
With the shortage of vaccines - created by the profits-first approach of the EU, US, UK & others - there's been a scramble for scarce doses.

Rich governments are buying them up; poor governments are left with little or nothing.

So, vaccine rollout has been hugely uneven.
➡️ 83% of shots that have gone into arms worldwide have been administered in high- & upper-middle-income countries.

➡️ Only 0.2 percent of doses have been administered in low-income countries.…
Global vaccine rollout is too slow and too uneven.

Because companies prioritize profits over production, and because the rich governments are allowing them to do so, there are simply not enough doses being made fast enough.
It is truly a race against time, but the rich governments have been acting like time doesn't matter...

In typical "first world" fashion, they think they can disregard global needs...

But this short-sighted policy will come back to bite all of us...…
By blocking wider production of vaccines globally, these governments are prolonging the global pandemic, meaning:

⬛️ more death;

⬛️ more economic disruption;

⬛️ more chance for new variants to emerge that are more virulent, more deadly and/or resistant to current vaccines.
So, it's good that pressure is increasing on the EU, US, UK & others to end their failing, profits-first approach to the global pandemic, and there is discussion about changing course.

❓ But when time is measured in lives lost, how many more deaths will it be before they act?
Australia, too...

"Indian Coronavirus Outbreak Shows Australia is on the Wrong Side of the Global Fight Over Vaccine Access"…
"If the #TRIPSwaiver had been adopted last October when it was proposed, it could already be giving low and middle-income countries like India the ability to expand production of lifesaving medical products."
- @AkshayaSays, Human Rights Watch
"if this waiver was accepted it would untie the hands of producers everywhere, allowing them to contribute to efforts to massively scale up manufacturing of desperately needed tests, treatments, and vaccines worldwide."
Instead of debating about how to ration vaccines better or more equitably, we could be rationing less.

We need more production.

We need our governments to stop blocking it.
🇪🇺 Calling all EU citizens! 🇪🇺

Please SIGN this official European Citizens' Initiative to get the EU to stop blocking wider vaccine production:

🌐 And calling everyone! 🌐

Please SHARE it!


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More from @astroehlein

5 May
I find it very hard to understand the mentality of people who look at a global pandemic in which millions are dying and say: how can I help powerful corporations make money from this?

And yet, this is exactly what leaders in the EU, US, UK & others have been doing. Image
These countries' leaders have been blocking wider vaccine production globally by obstructing the #TRIPSwaiver, a proposal at the WTO to temporarily waive some intellectual property rules for medical products.

This creates vaccine scarcity, which drives up prices for the corps.
They may try to fool themselves with nonsense arguments, like:

- Corps need to be incentivised, when in fact, it was billions in our taxes that incentivised them last time.

- The waiver would not instantly lead to new production, when that is in fact an argument against delay
Read 12 tweets
4 May
Vaccine doses given globally so far (💉=500 million):


Amount needed globally (assuming 70% fully vaccinated for herd immunity):


Number given so far in low-income countries:


Vaccine rollout is too slow & too uneven.
The key reason vaccine rollout is slow & uneven is the shortage of vaccine doses. Not enough are being produced, so rich countries have been fighting each other over scarce supplies, while low income countries beg for scraps and get little or nothing.…
The rich countries fighting each other over scarce supplies - EU, US, UK, etc - are the very same countries that are creating global vaccine scarcity in the first place.

They are literally blocking wider production of vaccines globally by obstructing the #TRIPSwaiver at the WTO
Read 21 tweets
26 Apr
You can argue that, in normal times, patent rules are essential.

But a global pandemic is not normal times.

We need the #TRIPSwaiver World map showing how some countries’ governments - the EU
Over US$12bn (€10bn) in public money was given to private companies, but the world still has a severe vaccine shortage.

Less than 3% of the world has been vaccinated.

90% of people in the world's poorest countries will go without a vaccine this year.
3% vaccinated...

Experts estimate that at least 70% is needed for herd immunity.

Global vaccination is going too slowly...

...because of vaccine shortages...

...caused by low production capacity.
Read 12 tweets
23 Apr
Everyone reading this knows there’s a vaccine shortage in this world.

Rich governments are squabbling over scarce supplies.

Most of the world is left begging for scraps - and not even getting that.

But it's an artificially created shortage.

It doesn't have to be this way.
The numbers:

World population: ~8 billion.

Number of people fully vaccinated: ~220 million.

Share of world vaccinated: 2.8%.

Estimated target for herd immunity: 70%.

At this rate, it will take years to vaccinate everyone.

⬛️ Years of more death...

⬛️ Years of more economic disruption...

⬛️ Years of more opportunity for new variants of the virus to emerge that are more deadly, more virulent, and/or resistant to the current vaccines...…
Read 21 tweets
22 Apr
🇪🇺 Dear EU Citizens,

🇬🇧 Dear UK Citizens,

🇺🇸 Dear US Citizens,

🇦🇺 Dear Australian Citizens,

Do you want a longer pandemic?

No, of course not.

But your governments, by blocking wider production of vaccines globally, are prolonging the pandemic.…
By blocking wider production of vaccines globally, these governments are prolonging the global pandemic, meaning:

⬛️ more death;

⬛️ more economic disruption;

⬛️ more chance for new variants to emerge that are more virulent, more deadly and/or resistant to current vaccines.
This is not an accident.

This is not something they don't know about.

These governments understand all this.

They have made this deliberate policy choice anyway.

And more of us will die because of it.
Read 21 tweets
21 Apr
The EU, UK, US, and others have for months been blocking wider vaccine production globally by obstructing the #TRIPSwaiver at the World Trade Organization.

They are trying to fight a global pandemic while deliberately limiting vaccine supplies.

Only 2.7% of the world is fully vaccinated;

83% of shots administered in high- & upper-middle-income countries;

Only 0.2% in low-income ones.

Too slow. Too uneven.

We need to beat vaccine scarcity with greater production.……
🌍 Global pandemic.

🌍 Global vaccine shortages.

🌍 Time for global solutions.

Read more…

On how we got here:…

On why the rollout is too slow for everyone:…

On why we need a rights-based approach:…
Read 14 tweets

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