May 5, 2021 | Access to Medicines, COVID-19

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Statement in Response to USTR Announcement that the U.S. Will Support Waiving Intellectual Property Protections for COVID-19 Vaccines

Contact:
Jessica Bassett (Health GAP): 1 518-593-7628| jessica@healthgap.org

Health GAP Executive Director Asia Russell said:  “As HIV activists, we know that activism and global solidarity can change the trajectory of a pandemic. Today’s announcement shows that the Biden administration is feeling the pressure built over many months of relentless activism by people around the world organizing together to end vaccine apartheid and fight for a people’s vaccine to end COVID-19. 

“This is a necessary first step from the Biden administration, but text based negotiations must not drag on indefinitely, should not be limited to vaccines only, and must be transparent, with text accessible by all. 

“Already, 2.2 million people have died of COVID-19 since the waiver was proposed in October 2020. The Biden administration must not cave to big pharma scare tactics and its army of lobbyists that will undoubtedly kick into high gear to stall further progress. 

“Biden must double down on this recognition that circumstances call for extraordinary measures by quickly bringing pharma to the table to compel them to share technology and by using all resources at his disposal to fund increased manufacturing capacity in the Global South.”

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The Biden administration promised patents wouldn't stand in the way of people around the world accessing life-saving COVID-19 vaccines. But they haven't matched those words with action. Every day the U.S. fails to break Big Pharma monopolies, more people get sick and die from COVID-19.

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