We had a win! Now help ensure Australia helps lead efforts to put people over profits and end the vaccine monopoly.
More than 50,000 Australians signed petitions demanding the Australian Government support a temporary waiver on World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules that give pharmaceutical companies 20-year monopolies for COVID-19 vaccines and treatments (the ‘TRIPS waiver’). Thousands more emailed their MPs, asking that they take this issue up directly with the Federal Trade Minister Dan Tehan.
And we won! Thanks to our collective efforts, the Australian Government has now announced that it will support the waiver! But now we need to make sure they live up to that promise.
More than 100 nations have now called on the WTO to temporarily waive monopoly rules on vaccines in order to ramp up global production and reduce costs for fair access for people in low-income countries. This is a huge win for people power and shows that when we stand up and raise our voices together, we can make change.
But the fight isn’t over yet… We need to make sure the Australian Government keeps to their word.
The WTO operates on a consensus basis, and key countries like Germany continue to advocate for alternative proposals that will not deliver affordable access to vaccines to low income countries where millions are dying and more infectious strains continue to develop. Australia has felt the implications of these current models too, with both Pfizer and Moderna refusing to allow local production in Australia. If rich pharmaceutical companies continue to control vaccine access, millions more will die.
We’ve already seen countries such as the United States, who have indicated their support publically for the TRIPS waiver, play only a passive role in negotiations, and progress has stalled. Public support alone is not enough.
The Australian Government must now put its words into action and work with other supportive countries to help lead the passage of the TRIPS waiver at the upcoming WTO meetings to put people over profits.
Brought to you by: