We have an opportunity to give millions of people vaccines and end the pandemic everywhere, but rich countries are putting pharmaceutical profits first. As a result, millions of people in the Global South may not get access to the COVID-19 vaccine until 2024. This is not only an egregious human rights and racial justice issue, it’s a threat to the safety of global north residents and threatens the entire global economy.
Public health experts in the US support a waiver proposed by South Africa and India on intellectual property rules at the World Trade Organization to increase manufacturing capacity of COVID-19 vaccines. More than 100 countries support this initiative.
The US, unfortunately, has been one of the roadblocks, along with other rich countries such as the European Union and Canada who have secured more than their needed supply of vaccines. When candidate Biden was on the campaign trail, he committed to not let patents get in the way of global access. Now we we must hold him to that commitment.