Oxfam response to Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine approval – fantastic news for the UK, but most poor countries face an impossible battle to secure enough doses

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- Short URL: https://www.oxfam.org.uk/mc/n5bvdu/

In response to the announcement that the UK’s Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency has approved the Pfizer and BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for use from next week, Oxfam’s Health Policy manager, Anna Marriott, said:

“While it is fantastic news for the UK that people will start to get a vaccine to protect them from this deadly virus, the UK Government, Pfizer and BioNTech should be doing much more to ensure all countries that need the vaccine are able to get it.

“Currently Pfizer and BioNTech have promised the vast majority of available doses to rich countries, while most poorer countries face an impossible battle to secure enough doses. Unlocking more supplies would require pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer and BioNTech to share their COVID-19 vaccine technology and intellectual property so that enough doses can be made.

“The world needs a people’s vaccine and the UK Government should use its global influence to insist that pharmaceutical companies put saving lives before profits. A first step would be to support South Africa and India’s proposal to the World Trade Organisation Council next week to waive intellectual property rights for COVID-19 vaccines, tests and treatments until everyone is protected.”


Oxfam is part of The Peoples’ Vaccine Alliance, a coalition of global and national organizations and activists united under a common aim of campaigning for a ‘People’s Vaccine’. The call for a People’s Vaccine is backed by past and present world leaders, health experts, faith leaders and economists.

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