Global Coronavirus Response – cast iron pledge needed that COVID vaccine will be made available to all free of charge

Published: 4th May 2020


Governments must give a cast iron pledge that coronavirus vaccines, treatments and diagnostics will be made available to every person on the planet free of charge and according to need, said Oxfam today, after more than $8 billion was committed for research and development at a Global Coronavirus Response pledging marathon.

Anna Marriott, Oxfam’s Health Policy lead said:

“The $8 billion pledged today is a very positive start - but only a start. More money will be needed to support the global manufacture and fair distribution of vaccines, treatments, and diagnostics, including the recruitment of millions more health workers in poor countries.

“At the World Health Assembly later this month governments must also provide a cast iron guarantee that all publicly funded vaccines, treatments, and diagnostics will be patent free, made available according to need, and free at the point of delivery. 

“We must learn the lessons from the fight against HIV and Swine Flu where the narrow self-interests of corporations and governments meant vaccines and treatments were too expensive or arrived too late. This cost countless lives across the developing world.

Commenting on the lack of US support for the initiative to date, Marriott said:

“President Trump remains isolated and antagonistic to an international collaboration aimed at saving lives of people across the globe. No one individual, community, or country can overcome this crisis alone - we must all work together.”

Notes to editors

The Global Coronavirus Response pledging marathon was hosted by the European Union, UK, France and Saudi Arabia. Pledges are being accepted until the end of May.


Contact information

Anna Ratcliff, / +44 7796 993288