Save Lives through Vaccine Access...Now

Save Lives through Vaccine Access...Now

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Wendy Tan started this petition to Political leaders and vaccine producers

There are enough vaccines for everyone 
Let’s stop unnecessary deaths...now

In gist...
Appeal to vaccine producers to agree to a temporary waiver of IP to increase vaccine production. Appeal to political leaders of rich countries to make available excess vaccines to low-income countries.

So that...
Low-income countries can vaccinate more of their people earlier. We save lives, end the pandemic earlier and everyone wins.  

The Situation: Millions of people die because they have no access to vaccines.

-   Poor countries have much higher death rates. 4 million people have died from COVID. Of the last million people who have died from Covid, 26% are from India, 18% from Brazil, but only 4% is from the USA. (Straits Times, 8 Jul 2021). Unvaccinated people are 11X more likely to die from the Delta variant, compared to the vaccinated.

-   Inequitable access. Rich countries secured 87% of vaccines dispensed worldwide, whilst poor countries received only 0.2% (WHO website). Almost 75% of vaccines have been administered to only 10 countries, whilst vaccination coverage in low-income countries is 2% (Straits Times, 15 Sep 2021).

-   Promise not honoured. G7 and the EU have pledged more than 1 billion doses donation, less than 15% have been delivered (Fortune, 6 Sep 2021).

-   Vaccine hoarding. Rich countries have an excess of more than 1 billion vaccine doses by the end of the year but these are not earmarked for donation (Fortune, 6 Sep 2021).

-   Profiteering from vaccines. Temporary IP waiver to allow for mass production of vaccines has been blocked by EU and pharmaceutical industry lobbies, restricting production to only a few companies in the West. Pfizer earned $3.5 billion in revenue in Q1 2021, hundreds of millions in profit with 20% profit margin (New York Times, 4 May 2021).

-   Urgency of vaccine access. At this rate, poor countries may not be vaccinated until 2024. That is 3 years later. It only takes 82 days to hit every additional one million deaths (Straits Times, 8 Jul 2021). How many more people will die in this time?

What Will Happen:

-   Loss of protection. The virus is 4 to 6 times as likely to mutate amongst unvaccinated people, possibly leading to more dangerous and infectious variants. This could render current vaccines less effective. This is what has happened with the Delta virus and it won't be the last.

-   Loss of economic gains. Rich countries won’t be able to fully go back to life as normal or open their borders fully, because of the disruptions in the global supply chain and infiltration of variants in the global travel network. Vaccine inequality will prolong the pandemic in rich countries too. 

-   Loss of next generation. 200 million people are estimated to be pushed into poverty and millions of children will become orphans with little access to education, perpetuating the vicious poverty cycle.

-   Loss of lives. Millions more people will die because they have no access to vaccines. 

The Solution:

-   Take vaccine equity as an investment. Pay for vaccine access. Every $1 investment will result in $26.10 in savings in healthcare costs and loss of productivity. The estimated US$50 billion to vaccinate 60% of the population in all countries will yield a benefit of US$9 trillion by 2025, of which 40% will accrue to rich countries (Straits Times, 15 Sep 2021).

-   Increase vaccine production. Give temporary IP access and transfer some technology, so more manufacturers can produce and increase vaccine supply. Work out a royalty payment to IP rights holders. 90 countries, including China and US have already agreed. We need these pharma companies to come on board (Straits Times, 15 Sep 2021). 

-   Improve distribution infrastructure. From point A, vaccine production to point B, the outstretched arm of an elderly in a low-income country. Increase planning,  transparency and accountability. Solve transport and logistical issues, so the vaccines can be more easily and quickly made available to low-income countries (Straits Times, 9 Jul 2021).

What Can You Do:

- Appeal for vaccine access. Appeal to the vaccine producers for a temporary waiver of IP to increase vaccine production. Appeal to rich countries to make available their excess vaccines to low-income countries. 

- Care about vaccine access. Support this petition.   Send it to 10 other people. The collective voice for vaccine access needs to be clear, strong and persistent. 

Donate to COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund administered by the WHO here - https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/donate

Thank you for reading this far :) To end off, here's a personal note. My children often exclaim indignantly, when they are in a disadvantaged position, "It's not fair!"

I reply softly, "Life is not fair." As adults, we know that. 

But...we can make it better.

These statistics above may just be numbers, but every single number represents a family member, a parent, a child or a friend.

These are unnecessary deaths, we can do something... together.

Can we count on one another? 

Thank you very much for caring!

References:
https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/to-overcome-covid-19-vaccine-apartheid-we-need-solid-plans-daily-star-contributor
https://www.straitstimes.com/opinion/the-scandal-of-vaccine-inequity
https://www.straitstimes.com/world/europe/heads-of-global-organisations-issue-joint-call-for-vaccine-equality
https://www.straitstimes.com/world/covid-19-deaths-reach-4-million-as-vaccine-disparity-exposes-poor
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/19/opinion/covid-vaccine-booster-shots-africa.html
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/04/business/pfizer-covid-vaccine-profits.html
https://www.cnbc.com/2021/04/09/who-says-poor-countries-have-received-just-0point2percent-of-worlds-vaccine-supply.html
https://fortune.com/2021/09/06/rich-countries-1-billion-extra-covid-vaccine-doses/
https://www.bmj.com/content/374/bmj.n2282

 

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