Why the World Bank should be calling for a People's vaccine

Published: 30th September 2020

Responding to the World Bank's proposal of a $12 billion initiative to help poor countries purchase COVID-19 vaccines, Anna Marriott, Health Policy Advisor at Oxfam, said:

"The World Bank is right to be concerned about whether poorer countries will be able to afford COVID-19 vaccines and treatments and they should use their influence accordingly. The best way of ensuring universal access is for pharmaceutical companies to stop seeking monopolies on their treatments. This only limits production and drives up prices. That is why Oxfam and others are calling for a People's Vaccine that would be free from patents, widely manufactured and affordable, so that governments can provide it to people in need free of charge. 

"Many poorer countries are already in debt and should not have to resort to taking additional loans to pay for over-priced vaccines from pharmaceutical corporations eager to profit from this crisis."

Notes to editors

People’s Vaccine Alliance is a coalition of organisations and activists united under a common aim of campaigning for a ‘people’s vaccine’ for COVID-19 that is based on shared knowledge and is freely available to everyone everywhere. A global common good. It is coordinated by Oxfam and UNAIDS and its members include Frontline AIDS, Global Justice Now, Nizami Ganjavi International Center, STOPAIDS, Wemos and the Yunus Centre. More than 140 world leaders, former leaders and economists have called on governments to unite behind a people’s vaccine against COVID-19.

Survivors of COVID-19 from 37 countries are among almost 1,000 people who have signed an open letter to pharmaceutical industry leaders calling for a ‘People's vaccine’ and treatments that are available to all.

Earlier this month, analysis by Oxfam revealed that a small group of wealthy nations representing just 13 percent of the world’s population have already bought up more than half (51 percent) of the future doses of leading COVID-19 vaccine candidates.

Contact information

Kai Tabacek in the UK | ktabacek1@oxfam.org.uk | 07584 265 077
Annie Thériault in Montreal, Canada | annie.theriault@oxfam.org | +51 936 307 990

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