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#VaccineEquality must-reads!

Want to know more about the politics and the science behind Covid vaccines? You’ve come to the right place! Here’s a round-up of articles and reports giving you insight and analysis on vaccine politics and science.

April 14, 2021

Abuse of power by Big Pharma drives the EU ‘Jab Race’ – Domani, op-ed by Corporate European Observatory
The European debate on how to handle the pandemic could use a dose of honesty. The past weeks we have witnessed a reviving “vaccine-nationalism”, with EU-member states purchasing jabs wherever they can and the EU discussing to stop exports at it’s borders. We see a failing European vaccination-strategy and a complete self-defeating lack of solidarity with the global south. Two issues that connect all these dots, are the root causes of the painful failure we all observe: a lack of transparency and a unhealthy power grab of EU-policies by Big Pharma. Read on here in English, and here in Italian

How Bill Gates Impeded Global Access to Covid Vaccines – The New Republic, article
Through Gates hallowed foundation, the world’s de facto public health czar has been a stalwart defender of monopoly medicine. In April, Bill Gates launched a bold bid to manage the world’s scientific response to the pandemic. Gates’s Covid-19 ACT-Accelerator expressed a status quo vision for organizing the research, development, manufacture, and distribution of treatments and vaccines. Like other Gates-funded institutions in the public health arena, the Accelerator was a public-private partnership based on charity and industry enticements. Crucially, and in contrast to the C-TAP, the Accelerator enshrined Gates’s long-standing commitment to respecting exclusive intellectual property claims. Its implicit arguments—that intellectual property rights won’t present problems for meeting global demand or ensuring equitable access, and that they must be protected, even during a pandemic—carried the enormous weight of Gates’s reputation as a wise, beneficent, and prophetic leader. Read on here

COVAX: A global multistakeholder group that poses political and health risks to developing countries and multilateralism – The Transnational Institute (TNI), longread 
The global vaccine distribution problem from a human rights perspective can be described as how to get the COVID vaccine to communities and peoples in developing countries quickly, safely, at low or no cost without political-, class- or gender-discrimination. The global vaccine distribution problem from a World Economic Forum (WEF) or a Gates Foundation perspective might be described as how to get the COVID vaccine to communities and peoples in the developing world without disrupting the global pharmaceutical market, with a mechanism that circumvents long standing multilateral humanitarian relief systems while steering the vaccines to preferred allies in the developing world. For the WEF and Gates supporters, the scoping of the problem leads to COVAX. For human rights supporters the scoping of the problem leads more toward a solution that combines a WTO waiver of intellectual property rights for COVID-related products and processes, a General Assembly declaration that health is a global public good, a multilateral global humanitarian relief fund underwritten by developed country governments, and an international distribution system directed by the World Health Assembly. Read on here

April 7, 2021

It’s time to consider a patent reprieve for COVID vaccines – Nature, Editorial
The world needs around 11 billion doses of coronavirus vaccine to immunize 70% of the world’s population, assuming two doses per person. As of last month, orders had been confirmed for 8.6 billion doses, a remarkable achievement. But some 6 billion of these will go to high- and upper-middle-income countries… Read on here

Patently absurd – Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO), Article
How did EU governments decide to oppose a global measure that could boost production of Covid-19 vaccines and medicines for the global south? You won’t get the slightest hint from official EU sources. But leaked documents reveal that the Commission and member states see the real problem as a mere PR issue of how to deflect criticism. Given the pandemic, their position seems indefensible… Read on here

The economic benefits of equitable global access to COVID-19 vaccines – RAND, Research Brief
Researchers used a global macroeconomic model to examine the economic effects of vaccine nationalism. This brief highlights the cost to 30 high-income countries if low and middle-income countries miss out on initial access to COVID-19 vaccines… Read on here