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Opening up access to COVID-19 technologies

Opening up access to COVID-19 technologies

MSF-WTO_Aerial Caption
Aerial view of the banner in front of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Geneva calling on governments to stop blocking the waiver proposal on intellectual property (IP) during the pandemic.

COVID-19 has spread around the globe, yet much of the world does not have anywhere near enough access to vaccines, treatments, tests and personal protective equipment (PPE). It doesn't have to be this way.

This pandemic isn't over until it's over for everyone. To ensure this happens, we need to allow countries to increase the production of these COVID-19 technologies as much as possible. More than 100 countries, led by India and South Africa, are calling for the removal of legal obstacles to this goal, but they have been opposed by a few wealthy countries and the pharmaceutical industry. We can change this.

The majority of countries around the world support a global waiver of patents on COVID-19 technologies, which would help enable countries to scale up the production of vaccines and other medical tools needed to fight COVID-19.  But while the UK is sitting on a stockpile of vaccines, it also continues to block the proposal that could scale up global supply.

So let's change that.

Tweet your MP

Many UK MPs are coming out in support of the waiver and recognise the need for urgent redistribution of vaccines, calling for the Government to change course.

This is not a party-political issue, and nor should it be – MPs from across the major parties recognise the need for vaccine equity. Can you help us encourage as many more MPs as possible to call on Boris Johnson to make the right decision, back the waiver and urgently redistribute excess vaccines?

We've written a tweet with the key points – all you need to do is find your MP and share.

It'll take you no time at all.

Write to your MP

While writing to your MP can take more time, it does have impact.

Be sure to use your own words as this will be more effective. However, you may wish to make the following points:

  • Countries around the world, from the USA to India, support a waiver why doesn't the UK?
  • Many COVID-19 vaccines and tools have received huge amounts of public funding. Nearly £80 billion of public money has gone into the development of COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics globally and these should therefore be considered a global public good, not the property of pharmaceutical companies.
  • There shouldn't be competition between countries for COVID-19 medical products – if we maximise supply, we can ensure fair access for all.
  • Just vaccinating people in the UK isn't enough – as long as the pandemic continues, there is the real threat of new variants arising which may make these vaccines ineffective. This pandemic isn’t over until it’s over for everyone. 

The service we are using, Write To Them, will not accept copy-and-paste messages.

Share our map showing the status of each country

More than 100 countries back South Africa and India's proposal at the World Trade Organization for an 'IP waiver' that would allow governments to waive intellectual property rights that companies hold on COVID-19 medical technologies for the duration of the pandemic.

You can see below who these supporters are, and who continues to oppose the plan  including the UK.

Feel free to copy and share this map, just click on the share icon.

We will keep it up to date as more countries begin to support the waiver, including we hope  the UK.

Download images to use in your own posts

Just right click and "Save image as..." to download graphics for your own use on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok etc.

On mobile if you press and hold on an image you will be presented with the option to share that image.

Governments are taking a stand, support the TRIPS waiver
Stop shortages of vital COVID-19 tools.
Stop pharma from blocking access to COVID-19 tools.
Shortage caused by monopolies: ventilator valves
Shortage caused by monopolies: masks
Shortage caused by monopolies: testing kits

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Read and share more on the waiver