Did you know that high-income countries are hoarding 870 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine doses? This is happening while many front-line workers in sub-Saharan Africa have not even received a first dose. We need to get these vaccines moving to where they are most needed -- in the Global South.
Global vaccine production currently stands at 1.5 billion doses per month,which means “there is enough supply to achieve our targets, provided they are distributed equitably.” [TedrosAdhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General World Health Organization] There is no scarcity of vaccines, but countries like Canada continue to hoard their supplies. We must continue to pressure our government to re-distribute our excess.
That is why we are asking you to take a few minutes to add your voice and send this letter to Prime Minister Trudeau urging him to commit to vaccine equity. The letter is adapted from a template provided by Amnesty International and urges the Canadian government to:
- Redistribute our excess vaccine doses to low-income countries beginning right away, with a clear schedule of deliveries over the next 100 days; and
- Fully support the proposed WTO (World Trade Organization) TRIPS waiver which would temporarily waive intellectual property rights on COVID-19 vaccines and therapies.
Please feel free to tailor the template, adding your own thoughts on the need for vaccines. Once you have signed your letter, please email it to email@example.com rather than sending it directly to the Prime Minister. This email address is being used by Amnesty International Canada to collect all the letters written from now until November 29th. Amnesty International will deliver them en masse to the Prime Minister on that date for the greatest impact. We would also ask that you cc: firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can track GRAN support for this important issue.
Context: Our letters are part of a broader global Amnesty International campaign (backed by the World Health Organization and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights) to hold nations and Big Pharma accountable for supplying vaccine doses to those in need.Amnesty International's campaign -- The 100 Day Countdown: 2 billion COVID-19 vaccines now!-- is demanding that the World Health Organization’s target of vaccinating 40% of the population of low- and lower-middle income countries by the end of the year be met.
Dose Sharing:In June 2021, Canada pledged 40.7 million vaccine doses to low-income countries through COVAX. As of September 28, only 2.7 million of those doses have actually been delivered. Over 60% of people in high-income countries have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine to date, compared to less than 3% of people in low-income countries.
TRIPS Waiver: On October 4, trade sources announced that the WTO negotiations to adopt the TRIPS waiver are deadlocked; a year after the proposal was introduced by South Africa and India. Although more than 100 countries, including the U.S., support the proposal, a handful of countries continue to oppose it. Sharing of the technology by current vaccine manufacturers would allow low- and middle-income countries to become more self-sufficient and produce COVID-19 vaccines.
We hope you will join us in raising your voice in this global call for vaccine equity.
Janet and Pat