World Health Assembly vaccine agreement not fit for purpose

Publicado: 18th Mayo 2020


Commenting on a near final draft of a resolution on access to coronavirus vaccines, treatments, and tests, that is expected to be agreed by Health Ministers at the World Health Assembly this evening, Anna Marriott, Oxfam’s Health Policy Manager said:

“The agreement on the table is simply not fit for purpose. It leaves too many barriers standing in the way of a coronavirus vaccine for all. 

“Health Ministers have resisted attempts by the Trump Administration to torpedo an agreement, and have kick started a process that should help increase global manufacturing and distribution capacity. Yet, they have done nothing to compel the pharmaceutical industry to pool patents so that any nation with the means can quickly manufacture or import affordable vaccines, treatments and tests."

“This World Health Assembly must not be the final word on this issue. Momentum is gathering for a ‘People’s Vaccine.’ One that is patent-free, mass produced, distributed fairly, and made available to every individual, in every nation, free of charge. Politicians must step up and provide a cast-iron guarantee that they will put public health before the profits of the pharmaceutical industry.”


Notas para editores

Oxfam has seen a near final draft of a World Health Assembly resolution that is expected to be agreed by Health Ministers this evening. The resolution supports the use of existing global trade rules to override corporate patent rights in the interest of public health, and tasks the World Health Organisation to come up with options for scaling up global manufacturing and distribution capacity for vaccines, tests and treatments.  However, despite acknowledging that vaccines, treatments and tests are global public goods, it does not require pharmaceutical corporations to pool their patents – a process which would enable anyone with the means to manufacture or import affordable copies - and it does not guarantee that vaccines, treatments and tests will be made available to individuals free of charge.

Last week over 150 current and former world leaders, economists and health experts signed an open letter calling for a ‘People’s Vaccine.’

Información de contacto

Anna Ratcliff, or Mobile: +44 7796 993288

For updates, please follow @Oxfam

Sign the petition now: When a COVID-19 vaccine is found, it must be free and fairly distributed to everyone on the planet.