Support waiver for intellectual property rules on COVID-19 vaccine production – NGO coalition tell FG  

Support waiver for intellectual property rules on COVID-19 vaccine production – NGO coalition tell FG  

In a bid to have equitable access to COVID-19 vaccine in Nigeria and other African countries, the Nigeria Network of NGOs in collaboration with the Global Call to Action Against Poverty and in partnership with the People’s Vaccine Alliance has called on the Federal government to support waiver of intellectual property rules on all COVID-19 related-technologies to allow production of vaccine in Nigeria.

The group made the call at a press conference over the weekend while stating that three years into the pandemic, that Africa and other developing countries has continued to see disparities in access to vaccine which has prolonged the pandemic.

Speaking, Executive Director, Nigeria Network of NGOs, Mr. Oyebisi Oluseyi, said: “We call on the Nigerian government, the civil society, private sector and relevant authorities to support our call for the British, German, USA and French governments to stop actively blocking the waiver of intellectual property rules on all COVID-19 related technologies.

“We want them to use all powers and influence at their disposal to compel pharmaceutical companies to transfer the technology needed to manufacture COVID-19 vaccines to Global South manufacturers through all this available mechanisms.

“This will revolutionise global vaccine manufacturing, unblocking the productive capacity needed to end this pandemic.

It could also build the scientific and industry networks needed to protect Africa and the rest of the world from future disease outbreaks.”

He noted that a report by Oxfam on March 3, 2022 stated, “While effective vaccine provide hope, their rollout has tipped, from a natural desire to protect citizens into nationalism, greed, and self-interest.

“Large numbers of people in low-income countries face the virus unprotected and millions of people would still be alive today if they had had access to a vaccine. Big pharmaceutical corporations have been given free rein to prioritize profits ahead of vaccine equality.” 

Oluseyi added, “that the reports indicates that 54 percentof all deaths caused by COVID-19 have been in low and lower middle-income countries, where 10.6 million people have died while 2.7 million people are estimated to have died in high income countries.”

 

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