Our best chance of all staying safe is to ensure a COVID-19 vaccine is available for all as a global common good. This will only be possible with a transformation in how vaccines are produced and distributed — pharmaceutical corporations must allow the COVID-19 vaccines to be produced as widely as possible by sharing their knowledge free from patents.
Instead they are protecting their monopolies and putting up barriers to restrict production and drive up prices, leaving us all in danger. No one company can produce enough for the whole world. So long as vaccine solutions are kept under lock and key, there won’t be enough to go around. We need a People’s Vaccine, not a profit vaccine.
A growing movement of health and humanitarian organisations, past and present world leaders, health experts, faith leaders and economists urging that when safe and effective vaccines are developed they are produced rapidly at scale and made available for all people, in all countries, free of charge.
Ensure the vaccine is purchased at true cost prices and provided free of charge to people.
Prevent monopolies on vaccine and treatment production by making public funding for research and development conditional on research institutions and pharmaceutical companies freely sharing all information, data, biological material, know-how and intellectual property.
Ensure the vaccine is sold at affordable prices: Pricing must be transparent and based on the cost of research, development and manufacturing, as well as taking into account any public funding provided.
Implement fair allocation of the vaccine which prioritizes health workers and other at-risk groups in all countries. Distribution among countries should be based on their population size. In-country vaccination programmes should include marginalized groups, including refugees, prisoners, and people living in slums and other crowded housing conditions. Allocation between and within countries should be based on need and not ability to pay.
Ensure full participation of governments in developing countries as well as civil society from north and south in decision-making fora about the vaccines (and other COVID-19 technologies) and ensure transparency and accountability of all decisions.
The people. There is no patent. Could you patent the sun?
The People’s Vaccine Alliance is a coalition of organisations including Free the Vaccine, the Yunus Centre, Frontline AIDS, Oxfam, SumOfUs and UNAIDS.