We will not defeat this virus if developing nations are left to rely on vaccine donations alone – especially considering the UK has only donated six million out of a pledged 100 million to the Covax initiative.
All countries must have the tools to allow them to produce Covid vaccines on home soil and ramp up production if we are to have a truly effective global vaccine strategy. That means ensuring they have access to the vaccine patents.
So I am urging Boris Johnson to do the right thing and stop blocking the vaccine intellectual property waiver – at least temporarily – to allow developing nations to manufacture the vaccines themselves.
This is a matter of global leadership. And, with over 100 states – including the USA –supporting the proposal, it is clear the UK is becoming increasingly isolated in blocking the waiver to support access to vaccines around the world.
Indeed, it is the least the UK government can do after it brutally slashed aid and hindered humanitarian projects around the world.
The emergence of the new Omicron variant has shown us that, until we achieve vaccine equality, new variants could continue to appear.
Therefore, it is in everybody’s interests that we share vaccine patents – it will be an essential step in beating Covid-19.