Oxfam and Emergency: “Give up the patent for a vaccine accessible to all”

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To overcome disparities in access to Covid vaccines 19, the monopoly system imposed by the large pharmaceutical companies must be overcome. NGOs say so Oxfam ed Emergency, which in a joint letter appeal to Draghi government, so that he undertakes to make Italian Reithera a global public vaccine.

According to estimates, the lack of vaccination of the majority of the world population, that of low-income countries, could mean losses of 9,300 billion dollars, half of which would also concern rich countries, which are also able to achieve immunization of their own. populations. At the same time, an uncontrolled spread of the virus, aggravated by delays in the delivery of doses in many countries, makes it probable – as is already happening – the rapid development of mutations, which could make existing vaccines obsolete and frustrate all efforts made. in the field by governments to stop the pandemic: over 83 trillion dollars of taxpayers’ money, allocated globally for the development of vaccines.

To avoid these risks, Oxfam ed Emergency, members of the international coalition People’s Vaccine Alliance, today sent a letter-appeal to Prime Minister Mario Draghi and to the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Health and Economic Development.

The Italian Presidency of the G20 allows the Italian Government to have a key role in the European and international context – starting from the next meeting of the Council of the World Trade Organization on 1 March – in firmly supporting the suspension of the rules that protect the intellectual property on patents of anti-Covid vaccines and the sharing of the technology necessary for production in other countries , thus making it possible to define a vaccination plan that is truly effective and capable of reaching everyone, both in the poorest countries and in Italy and Europe.

“Only by allowing the production and sale of vaccines by many players in a competitive market, as well as their availability to the public at the lowest possible cost, will we be able to avert the worst, before it’s too late. – he said Sara Albiani, Oxfam Italia global health policy advisor – To this end, we ask the Government to intervene immediately so that Reithera renounces the patent of the vaccine that it has developed with the Lazzaro Spallanzani National Institute for Infectious Diseases, thanks to funding from the Government and the Lazio Region. Only by sharing patents, know-how and technologies, will it be possible to increase production and thus make the vaccine available to the largest possible number of people in Italy and in the world ”.

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“Currently, at the maximum of their production capacity, Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca could guarantee sufficient doses for just 1/3 of the world population and according to analyzes conducted by the People’s Vaccine Alliance, in most developing countries, only 1 citizen out of 10 can hope to be vaccinated in 2021 through the COVAX tool, intended to make vaccines accessible in the southern hemisphere. Mechanism of which the two organizations signatories of the letter recognize the important value of solidarity and protection of public health, but which seems to be totally inadequate to cover the real needs of vaccines in poor countries in the short time necessary “, write the NGOs.

“Monday 1 March, theWorld Trade Organization will meet to evaluate the proposal made by India and South Africa to temporarily suspend the intellectual property rights of vaccines against Covid-19. All developing countries are waiting with bated breath for a fundamental decision, the only one that can guarantee the hope of containing the epidemic. – he has declared Rossella Miccio, President of Emergency – For this, we ask that Italy and the European Union support this request. If we want to leave the pandemic behind, all countries – even low-income ones – must be enabled to receive the vaccines needed to immunize their population and to do so, production must be increased quickly. It is not a question of philanthropy but of the protection of public health and justice. “

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