Covid-19 | Pharma | Human Rights | 25th September 2021 | Virtual Wire
Picture -India Times
6 pharma companies have stepped back and waived the intellectual property rights and refused to share the vaccine technology, with the majority lacking to provide vaccines to poor countries. AstraZeneca plc, BioNTech SE, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna Inc, Novavax, Inc., and Pfizer, Inc are deplorably failing to respect human rights.
Vaccination is the only way out of this pandemic which has not only affected the economic status but also the mental health of individuals. All the companies who created these vaccines in such a short amount of time however the big Pharma's are intentionally blocking knowledge transfer. The poorer countries are facing vaccine scarcity as big Pharma's opt to deal with the wealthy states.
In low-income countries, even the frontline workers have been deprived of vaccination. Amongst all these inequalities BioNTech, Moderna and Pfizer are paving their path to make US$130 billion by the end of 2022. As the company's human rights policies were reviewed it was observed that the six vaccine developers have failed to meet the human rights responsibilities. Out of 5.76 billion doses, only 0.3% have been sent out to low-income countries whereas 79% going to the upper-middle and high-income countries.
Few of the companies have continued to stock up vaccines for hoarding despite the need for prioritizing. In Spite of companies receiving billions in government funding, vaccine developers have figured out a way to raise the rates as they monopolized intellectual property, blocking technology transfer and many more due to which billions of people are unable to access the vaccine.
As the year comes to an end the states and pharmaceutical companies are urged to change their course and deliver 2 billion vaccines to low and lower-middle-income countries. Amnesty International has launched a global campaign song with the World Health Organization (WHO) and High Commissioner for Human Rights known as " The 100 Day Countdown: 2 billion Covid-19 vaccines now! " in an attempt to vaccinate the lower countries by the end of the year.
The states having vaccines sitting idle are called upon to redistribute to assure that 50% of doses go to these countries. If the states and the vaccine developers delay their current actions, there would be no end to Covid-19. Developing life-saving vaccines isn't just enough if the majority of the population is not inoculated with the same.
It's very essential to prioritize their deliveries to the country in desperate need of vaccines and to suspend their intellectual property rights and share their knowledge to help create more and more vaccines. Vaccines are to be easily accessible however it's in the hands of the government and pharma to turn it into a reality. It's high time to prioritize lives over profit.