1,000 signatures reached
To: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Ministers Nanaia Mahuta, and Damien O’Connor
Support Vaccines for People Not Profit
To: New Zealand Government,
We, the undersigned, request that Aotearoa New Zealand support India and South Africa’s proposal for a temporary relaxation of intellectual property rules from certain provisions of the WTO Agreement on Trade Related Aspect of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) for the prevention, containment and treatment of COVID-19.
Why is this important?
Based on current Covid vaccine supply projections, 9 out of 10 people in low-income developing countries won't get a vaccine in 2021. WTO rules allow pharmaceutical companies to enforce intellectual property rules like patents on their vaccines, blocking other manufacturers from producing the vaccine. This artificially restricts the supply of vaccines, driving up prices.
In March, Aotearoa New Zealand should support the South African and Indian proposal at the World Trade Organisation to temporarily relax these rules for Covid-19 vaccines, so other manufacturers can increase global vaccine production and bring down prices.
Currently wealthy countries are hoarding the limited supply of vaccine doses. Developing countries face a diminished allocation of vaccine doses, and a much longer pandemic.
· This is unfair: access to life-saving equipment and medicines should not be based on who can pay; it should be based on need.
· It is unsafe: delays on vaccinations around the world could leave us all unsafe. The virus, left to reproduce, will continue to mutate.
· The free-for-all in buying up vaccines is exploitative: individuals and communities in developing countries have contributed to trials and are now being abandoned.
· It will entrench global inequality: while wealthy countries get vaccines first, and their economies are able to open up, developing countries will still be fighting the pandemic.
· Delaying worldwide vaccination will harm the global economy. A new study commissioned by the ICC Research Foundation found that the global economy could lose up to US$9.2 trillion if developing economies are denied access to Covid-19 vaccines.
For more information on the People´s Vaccine and the South African and Indian proposal at the WTO, check out our article in The Spinoff: https://thespinoff.co.nz/society/29-01-2021/new-zealand-needs-to-get-on-board-the-peoples-vaccine/
How it will be delivered
The petition will be sent to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, and Ministers Nanaia Mahuta and Damien O’Connor before the final WTO meeting on the proposal.
There will be no way the Government can say that they did not have the mandate to support the proposal.