Oxfam & People’s Vaccine Alliance reaction to calls for WHO’s Africa vaccine Hub project to be ‘terminated’

- Published:
- Short URL: https://www.oxfam.org.uk/mc/6ypgd6/

An article in the British Medical Journal , published today, has found that the KenUP Foundation - acting as a consultant on behalf of BioNTech – have been pushing South African manufacturers not to get involved the World Health Organisation Vaccine Technology Transfer Hub’s project of copying the manufacturing process of existing mRNA COVID-19 vaccines and have been calling for the project to be ‘terminated immediately’.

In response:

Anna Marriott, Oxfam’s Health Policy Manager, said: “It is unconscionable that companies like BioNTech that have made billions from these publicly subsidised vaccines are not only refusing to share the vaccine technology with the WHO but are reportedly now trying to undermine their efforts to develop mRNA vaccines in partnership with developing country manufacturers.

“To push for the termination of this life-saving project in order to protect the interests of pharmaceutical companies is shameful, at a time when over 90 per cent of people in the poorest countries still haven’t been fully vaccinated. What needs ‘terminating’ is the pharmaceutical monopolies locking the life-saving vaccines out of reach for millions of people across low- and middle-income countries

"The failure of rich country governments to step in and break these all-powerful monopolies is unforgiveable. They must end their blind faith that profit-hungry pharma corporations will voluntarily do the right thing by humanity.”

Fatima Hassan, Founder and Director of Health Justice Initiative, said: “For two years, Western pharmaceutical giants have peddled falsehoods claiming that intellectual property rules are not a barrier to global vaccine production. Yet, now that lower-income countries have started developing Covid-19 vaccines, pharmaceutical industry goons are threatening South African manufacturers with patent infringement.

“This shameful scaremongering is further evidence that world leaders need to suspend intellectual property on all Covid-19 vaccines, tests, and treatments to unlock the productive capacity needed to end this pandemic. If we don't, big pharma will try to bully and intimidate global south manufacturers into submission.”

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For more information please contact: media@peoplesvaccine.org

Or Sarah Dransfield in the Oxfam Press Office on 0044 (0)7884 114825 / sdransfield@oxfam.org.uk

The People’s Vaccine Alliance is a coalition of nearly 100 organisations and networks, supported by Nobel Laureates, health experts, economists, Heads of States, faith leaders and activists, working together for a People’s Vaccine, available free of charge to everyone, everywhere.

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