The appeal letter to Asian governments comes from 100 organizations including ActionAid, APCASO, Asia Dalit Rights Forum, Asia Pacific Alliance for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, Asian Peoples Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD), Global Call to Action Against Poverty -Asia (GCAP-Asia), Oxfam International, South Asia Alliance for Poverty Eradication, Fight Inequality Alliance India and 50 prominent individuals.
“We are a rapidly growing and diverse alliance of advocates for an equitable and free COVID-19 vaccines for all peoples and affordable for all nations,” the letter read.
Meanwhile, in the letter, the Peoples Vaccine Alliance (PVA) has expressed concerned over a slow progress in scaling up global COVID-19 vaccine access and inoculation.
“Most of the world’s population, especially in middle and lower-income countries, lacks access to the vaccine,” it read. “At the speed with which it is proceeding, it will take decades to vaccinate all who need it.”
It had also called on those Asian governments to support the ‘temporary TRIPS Waiver’ proposal at the WTO during its general council meeting which was scheduled for 30th April, 2021, adding that COVID-19 vaccines are owned by big pharmaceutical corporations who are refusing to share the science and technology that could speed up mass production and distribution for the entire planet.
“No single corporation will ever be able to produce enough vaccine doses quickly for everyone who needs it. If history has taught us anything, it is that pharmaceutical corporations create and protect monopolies in order to maximise profits instead of improving public health. We have seen this in the past with vital medicines for illnesses like HIV or cancer that have been priced far too high, out of reach for most people”, said Karyn Kaplan of Asia Catalyst.
“A temporary waiver of World Trade Organization (WTO) intellectual property rules during the COVID-19 pandemic, proposed by South Africa and India and supported by more than 100 WTO member states and numerous health experts worldwide, is a vital, necessary and urgent step to bring an end to this pandemic,” it said.
“Vaccine equity will directly improve health outcomes, as no one is safe until everyone is safe. It is key to the enjoyment of human rights and is equally vital to a comprehensive economic rebuilding out of inequality, poverty and hunger. There is no time to lose! This is an urgent call for a solidaristic, humanitarian and accountable response to save millions of Asian people and their futures”, said Sandeep Chachra, Executive Director of ActionAid Association India.Follow TKG on Twitter & Facebook