There is only one way out of the COVID-19 crisis: an equitable global response.
Where do we start? Removing the intellectual property rights on COVID-19 tools, including vaccines, is one important step.
Until the entire world beats COVID-19, we will never be safe here at home. This global problem needs a global solution.
An urgent part of that solution is to lift the intellectual property protections that are slowing down the manufacturing and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines around the world.
In October, a proposal tabled at the World Trade Organization’s Council for Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPs) asked members to waive the intellectual property rights on COVID-19 tools, including ventilators, drugs, and vaccines. Since then, over 100 countries, mostly low-income nations, have voiced their support for this waiver.
As a global health leader, Canada needs to listen to what is being asked of us and support this proposal. If we fail to act, economic and public health recovery are going to be slowed not by months, but years.
We know removing the intellectual property rights on COVID-19 tools is just the first step.
To move forward on an equitable global response to COVID-19, we also need to:
- Support global initiatives like the ACT-Accelerator that will support vaccinations for low-income countries through COVAX and support the development and distribution of drugs and diagnostic tools.
- Ensure health care workers around the world – the majority of whom are women – are a priority group for vaccination and that they are fully paid and supported in their work.
- Listen and respond to the needs and requests of low-income countries and support them in their recovery.
When the world came together to create a vaccine, we saw what we were capable of. We need to see this same kind of collaborative effort to ensure an equitable global response. Only together will we stop this tide.
More Resources from Our Members and Partners:
Partners in Health Canada: For global solidarity, Canada must support TRIPS waiver
Partners in Health Canada and Results Canada Joint Brief to the Standing Committee on International Trade: Why Canada must support a temporary waiver of IP during the COVID-19 crisis
Doctors Without Borders: Why Canada should support the WTO waiver to expand access to COVID-19 medical technologies
Results Canada: Vaccines Bring Us Closer (Webinar Recording)
Results Canada: Stop the Deadly Divide
Grandmothers Advocacy Network: COVID-19: VACCINES, TESTING AND TREATMENTS
Stephanie Wiafe, ThriveHire: Vaccine Nationalism and COVID-19 Global Health Inequities
Oxfam Québec Petition: Pour un accès universel aux vaccins contre la COVID-19