Impact

People's Vaccine

OUR IMPACT

Learn about the impact Alliance members have had over the past four years.

The People’s Vaccine Alliance, comprising over 120 global members in 33 different countries, prioritizes three key objectives.

The first is to advocate for enhanced pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response to avoid failures witnessed during COVID-19.

Second, to promote equitable access to medical technologies through public funding for R&D, technology and IP sharing, and diversified manufacturing, notably in the Global South.

Lastly, the alliance actively challenges trade and IP barriers, alongside pharmaceutical company practices, which hinder access to vital medical treatments, including those for COVID-19.

For the past four years, the Alliance has achieved significant milestones throughout its campaign, including:

KEY CAMPAIGNS

Exposing Pharma Industry Practices:

Through satirical videos, shareholder resolutions, comprehensive reports, direct activist actions and more, members have worked to call attention to the negative impact of pharma companies’ profit-driven practices. We have exposed pharma greed; publicising that Pfizer, Moderna and Biontech were at one point making $1000 per second during the pandemic, exposed that Big Pharma spent almost as much enriching shareholders as on R&D in 2022, and called out dirty tactics by pharma-affiliated organisations.

 

RESULT: Dogged efforts by campaigners revealed pharma’s bullying of poorer countries in contract negotiations, their pandemic profiteering and prioritising of rich countries. Members achieved concrete victories such as forcing J&J to reverse their plans to export vaccines produced on the African continent to Europe and contributing to overall increased scrutiny of the pharmaceutical industry. This can be seen notably in the United States where Senator Sanders-led HELP committee has held hearings on pharma greed, and President Biden’s move to cap the price of insulin.

 

False 'EU-U.S. Joint statement' with the word 'FALSE' emblazoned in front of it

 

Influential Role in Pandemic Accord Negotiations:

The Alliance has played a pivotal advocacy role in the negotiations surrounding the Pandemic Accord. Our powerful open letter from 200 leading public figures, including Ban Ki-Moon, Joyce Banda and Joseph Stiglitz brought considerable coverage to the need to embed equity in the agreement. Alliance members have also participated in official meetings of the INB, calling for the inclusion of equitable access to medical countermeasures, and taken bold campaigning actions highlighting the hypocrisy of the USA and EU’s positions on intellectual property rules in negotiations.

RESULT: The Alliance’s satirical action received over 100,000 views in under 24 hours and provoked a response from an EU spokesperson – all drawing considerable attention to the EU and US’s hypocritical positions on IP rules in negotiations. Additionally, member states have sought Alliance members’ recommendations and have integrated our suggested language into their statements and additions to the draft text.

Advocacy for TRIPS Waiver and IP Barriers:

The Alliance advocated for the waiving of IP barriers to boost global production of COVID-19 vaccines, tests and treatments. Campaigns included a letter to the World Trade Organization’s Director-General signed by over 170 campaigners from 50+ countries, participation in USITC public hearings and the handing in of a petition with over 2.7 million signatories calling for a People’s Vaccine.

RESULT: In May 2021, the Biden administration announced its support for a waiver, followed by many other countries. Despite the June 2022 decision falling short of what was needed, it did constitute a recognition from rich countries at the WTO that I.P. rules have been a barrier to global access to COVID-19 vaccines.

Supporting Decentralized Production:

The Alliance proudly advocates for the decentralised production of medical countermeasures, particularly in developing countries, such as the Global South-led WHO mRNA Technology Transfer Programme. The Alliance arranged a media trip to Afrigen’s lab in South Africa, and produced a powerful virtual reality film, taking viewers to the state-of-the-art scientific laboratories of four partners in this innovative network of scientific excellence.

RESULT: We have showcased the programme globally, galvanising over 600 allies, donors, government representatives and decision-makers in Rwanda, Kenya, Brazil, at UNGA in US, at Parliament in the UK, the World Health Assembly in Geneva, at the European Commission in Belgium and at a G20-affiliated event in Indonesia to embrace, fund and protect this exciting programme.

Shift in Global Narratives on COVID-19:

The Alliance ensured a shift in the global narratives surrounding COVID-19; connecting journalists with individuals impacted by COVID and vaccine nationalism and demanding global equity of access, fair pricing, and transparent contracts. Members also worked to raise general awareness of the large amount of funding that supported the development of COVID-19 and to advocate for fair prices for the vaccines.

RESULT: Members have shaped the global media narrative around COVID-19 and the response to it. Our Co-Chairs Max Lawson and Winnie Byanyima have appeared on global news shows and published compelling opinion pieces. Supporters including Ban Ki-Moon, Helen Clark, Joyce Banda, Joseph Stiglitz and more have signed powerful letters calling on governments to “never again” allow “profiteering and nationalism” to come before the needs of humanity in a pandemic. Alliance member reports have additionally shown how the global COVID-19 response abandoned people in low and middle-income countries, and highlighted structural barriers in how medical access for women and gender-diverse people. We have also succeeded in raising the public’s awareness around pharmaceutical companies’ motives; a recent Caliber study showed a drop in public approval for Big Pharma, with a Caliber advisor noting: “The public demands not only cutting-edge innovation and safe, affordable products, but also a strong sense of purpose that extends beyond generating profits for shareholders.”

ALLIANCE AGILITY FUNDS

The Vaccine Alliance Agility funds, managed by then-fiscal host Frontline AIDS from 2022 to 2023, supported advocacy activities for COVID-19 vaccine equity. $557,393 in funds were distributed to 27 organizations worldwide, including in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, DRC, Kenya, India, Nigeria, Peru, Uganda and the USA.

Total funds administered: $557,393
Number of grants: 37
Number of organisations funded: 27
Average grant amount: $15,000

Supported by these grants, members delivered amazing results including:

  • A legal case victory ensuring transparency in COVID-19 contracts by Health Justice Initiative in South Africa
  • A skillful exposure of pharmaceutical profiteering through disruptive activism at the Pharma Awards in London by Just Treatment and STOPAIDS
  • Policy advocacy on intellectual property-related matters, including Colombia’s declaration of the HIV medicine, dolutegravir, as in the public interest
  • Equal Health’s Cancel the Debt podcast series
  • The production of Pharmaceutical Accountability Foundation’s powerful policy brief, focussing on States’ obligations under international human rights law to protect the right to health and access to medicines

THE REGIONAL TEAMS

As part of the alliance’s commitment to tackling the Northern bias in global health, the Africa, Asia and Latin American and Caribbean regions work both with the Global Alliance, and independently, driven by their regional agendas, and with additional funding allocated upon receipt of the Alliance’s original grants.

Asia

The People’s Vaccine Alliance Asia led on advocacy within influential policy arenas such as the G20. Members have leveraged platforms like the Vaccine Access and Health Working Group (VAHWG) and the Civil 20 (C20) to champion decentralized global manufacturing of COVID-19 technologies and addressing disparities in vaccine access. Members have advocated for the removal of intellectual property barriers to COVID-19 technologies, rallying civil society support for initiatives like the TRIPS waiver and challenging corporate dominance in global health policy spaces.

Over the past four years, the coalition of 60 civil society organizations across 17 countries in Asia, including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and various countries in South-East Asia, East Asia, and the Middle East, has undertaken a series of 230 digital actions. These efforts were coordinated through seven regional and national events, in addition to participation in global actions. The collective endeavors included the production of a community guide toolkit on global PPPR and four policy working papers covering critical aspects of vaccine production, compulsory licensing, public finance, and South-South solidarity, supplemented by 47 case study reports highlighting the plight of marginalized groups in the health sector.


Latin America and the Caribbean

Throughout the region, members have delivered over 400 digital actions advocating for the pandemic treaty and addressing trade and intellectual property barriers. Over 2,000 meetings have been held with government officials and global health bodies, including WHO and UN agencies. Twenty studies have been conducted, spanning regional, national, and Central American contexts. Moreover, over 100 opinion editorials, 50+ media releases and 25 blog posts have been published, and five court cases have been brought and won.

Latin American members utilised Agility Funds to engage with various Ministers of Health and regional health organizations on intellectual property (IP)-related issues, notably compulsory licensing. Members offered technical assistance to decision-makers, advocating on approaches during treaty negotiations, including the implementation of a ‘trigger mechanism’ for automatic activation during pandemics. As a result of these efforts, the Ministry of Health of Colombia has made a significant move towards issuing a compulsory license to ensure access to the vital HIV medicine Dolutegravir—a stance strongly backed by the Alliance.


Africa

PVA Africa conducted 18 meetings with government officials, 52 meetings with civil society organizations, provided storytelling training to 45 activists and facilitated 8 community engagement-centered projects. The 100+ members have led over 300 digital actions, published 24 reports and over 30 opinion editorials, had 40+ media appearances, and mobilised 4,333 in-person action supporters. Learn more here.

Meanwhile, South African member Health Justice Initiative exposed the profit-driven practices of pharmaceutical companies during the pandemic. Winning a legal case to secure access to South Africa’s contracts with COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers, HJI revealed that J&J and Pfizer demanded between 15 and 33% more for vaccine doses compared to Western Nations. This effort led to notable coverage of ‘pharma bullying practices’ in major international media outlets including Aljazeera, Politico, and Devex.

ACTIVISTS IN ACTION

Our coalition is driven by brave activists who campaign tirelessly for a world where everyone can access the medicines they need, regardless of where they live or what they earn.