AHF supports WTO chief’s call to end Vax apartheid
LOS ANGELES–(COMMERCIAL THREAD) – AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the world’s largest provider of HIV / AIDS care and treatment, echoes World Trade Organization Director General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala’s remarks to urge rulers of rich countries to speed up the end of the pandemic by sharing their vaccine technology by July.
Politico reported Okonjo-Iweala’s remarks during the G7 summit on June 12, where she said: âUnequal access to vaccines is unacceptable. She warned that vaccine production is centralized in the United States, Europe and China and added: “It is clear that as part of preparing for the next pandemic, we need to decentralize production” to create “different manufacturing centers for medical supplies, especially vaccines. ”
South Africa and India were the first countries to propose a waiver of intellectual property on COVID-19 vaccines, which has since gained support from more than 100 countries. If passed, the waiver would help countries overcome legal hurdles preventing them from producing their own vaccines and treatments and put the world on the best track to beat the pandemic. WTO members recently agreed to start formal negotiations on how to increase access to vaccines, but will have to debate competing proposals – one with a patent waiver, the other without.
“While we are happy to hear the announcement of a donation of a billion doses of vaccine by G7 leaders, it is not enough to immunize the world, and delivery overall has been far too slow. “said AHF President Michael Weinstein. âWe absolutely support Dr. Okonjo-Iweala’s call to share intellectual property on COVID-19 vaccine technology. Increased international cooperation has spurred the sharing of intellectual property and generic production of HIV antiretroviral drugs and saved millions of lives. It worked for the AIDS pandemic, and G7 leaders have the power to do the same for COVID-19. But they can’t delay any longer – they must agree to give up patents immediately. ”
Almost 2.4 billion vaccines that have been administered globally, less than 1% occurred in low-income countries. While the global average of vaccines administered is 24 doses per 100 people, this number is much less in Africa, where only about two doses per 100 people are given – and several countries have no access to the vaccine.
Okonjo-Iweala continued his efforts to ensure global equity in the fight against the pandemic on June 14 by calling on WTO member states to remove trade barriers associated with medical supplies used to fight COVID-19 which had recently increased. The WTO chief said: “We need to lower these restrictions so that we can moveâ¦ medical products and supplies and vaccines (faster),” as reported by Reuters.
AIDS Health Foundation (AHF), the world’s largest AIDS organization, currently provides medical care and / or services to over 1.5 million clients in 45 countries around the world in the United States, Africa, Latin America / Caribbean, Asia / Pacific region and Europe. To learn more about AHF, please visit our website: www.aidsante.org, Find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth and follow us on Twitter: @aidshealthcare and Instagram: @aidshealthcare