Reactive: Oxfam response to WTO TRIPS waiver for Covid-19 vaccines being blocked again by rich countries - a massive missed opportunity

Reactive: Oxfam response to WTO TRIPS waiver for Covid-19 vaccines being blocked again by rich countries - a massive missed opportunity

Thursday 11 March 2021

In response to calls for a waiver of Trade and Intellectual Property Rules (TRIPS) for COVID-19 vaccines, which is backed by more than 100 mostly developing countries, being blocked again at World Trade Organisation talks by the EU, with support from Ireland, Jim Clarken, Chief Executive of Oxfam Ireland said:

“This is a massive missed opportunity to speed up and scale up the production of lifesaving vaccines worldwide by waiving the intellectual property barriers that prevent more qualified manufacturers joining the effort.

“While this proposal should not be seen as a 'magic tree' to solve global vaccine supply issues it will go a long way to bringing as much vaccine production capacity online as is possible.

“The EU, with support from Ireland is siding with a handful of pharmaceutical corporations in protecting their monopolies against the needs of the majority of developing countries who are struggling to administer a single dose.

“It is unforgivable that while people are literally fighting for breath, the EU and Ireland continue to block what could be a vital breakthrough in ending this pandemic for everyone in rich and poor countries alike.

“During a pandemic that is devastating lives across the planet, governments should be using their powers now, not tomorrow, to remove intellectual property rules and ensure pharmaceutical companies work together to share technology and fix raw material shortages, all of which are standing in the way of a massive scale up in production. Oxfam polling shows that this is a position that is supported by the majority of people in Ireland”

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Contact

Caroline Reid | caroline.reid@oxfam.org | 087 912 3165

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