Break the Vaccine Monopolies Now
During the HIV/AIDS epidemic a generation ago, African countries were priced out of lifesaving drugs by pharmaceutical firms that prioritized profits over lives. If rich countries had learned the lessons of that historic injustice, the world might be celebrating the end of COVID-19, rather than bracing ourselves for another wave.
GENEVA – This month, the world could have been celebrating the waning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, vaccine apartheid and restricted production continue to fuel the spread of the coronavirus.
A year has passed since the first COVID-19 vaccines were approved, offering hope that humanity could be liberated from this disease. Scientists did their part by creating safe and effective vaccines with unprecedented speed. But world leaders failed to deliver them to all.
Public health experts, developing-country governments, and the People’s Vaccine Alliance warned that persistent low vaccination coverage in large parts of the world would create a risk of new variants and prolong the pandemic.