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REQUIRED VIEWING: How to Vaccinate the World!

ALL STAR PANEL speaking truth to power and which heats up fast! UAEM co-founder Amy Kapczynski from Yale Law School is the moderator, Fatima Hassan, South African human rights lawyer and co-founder of Health Justice Initiative, Zain Rizvi of Public Citizen, James Krellenstein of Prep4All and Dr David Kessler from the White House on global vaccine access.

‘Here’s how to watch “TRULY an intense panel” (Politico) that was “fairly remarkable” (The Hill), “intense” (Axios) and getting “tenser and tenser” (STAT), with advocates pressing David Kessler from the White House on global vaccine access.’

It was co-sponsored by the Global Health Justice Project (GHJP) and the Law and Political Economy Project.

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Urgent Letter to President Biden

Dear President Biden,

We are writing to you ahead of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) to urge that you take on a global leadership role and fulfill your promise of addressing COVID-19 around the world. We understand that during the UNGA, you will be hosting a global vaccine summit with participation of other world leaders where you will be announcing an admirable target of 70% of the world’s population to be vaccinated within the next year.

Reaching this goal, however, will be impossible unless you and other world leaders take action to ensure equitable vaccine distribution.

While it is commendable that your administration has procured and distributed COVID-19 vaccines to other countries in need, we cannot “donate” our way to safety. The massive global shortage of highly effective vaccines can only be addressed by increasing production. As of this week, just over 3% of people in low-income countries, many of whom are also facing devastating surges from deadly variants, have received any dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

COVAX, the global program intended to secure and distribute doses for low- and middle-income countries is failing. Recently, COVAX cut its forecast for doses available in 2021 by a quarter, driven in large part by wealthier nations stockpiling excess doses in lieu of providing these
vaccines and funds to this global program. As your administration considers distributing third booster doses to a broader population of Americans, it must not ignore the equity considerations of such a policy in further delaying vaccine access to people in the Global South, many of whom have yet to receive even a single dose. Moreover, such an approach may also only further fuel the emergence of even more virulent variants, which thrive in unvaccinated populations.

To truly make America the world’s “arsenal” of global vaccine access, we ask that you immediately deliver on the following policies:

  • launch an ambitious global vaccine manufacturing program with other countries to help produce billions more highly effective doses within one year and support a dedicated financing line item in the Build Back Better Act committing billions of dollars to this effort;
  • use your full authorities to require the few firms with monopolies over effective vaccines, diagnostics, and therapeutics to transfer technology and production know-how to manufacturers in the Global South;
  • set an example for other countries by reallocating excess doses available to countries in the Global South via COVAX or regional procurement mechanisms; and
  • work with allied countries on a final text to speedily enact a temporary, emergency waiver of certain World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS) rules that create barriers to widespread production of COVID-19 health technologies including vaccines, diagnostics, and treatments


Attached are further details of why these four steps are critically important towards realizing the goal of vaccinating 70% of the world’s population within the next year. We also outline the tremendous capability you have to carry forward these policies to end this pandemic. Your leadership on these above steps is urgently needed to move the world closer to a future where the pandemic truly ends for everyone, everywhere. At the UNGA, we hope that you will not just
offer more promises for these urgently needed policy measures, but that you will take on a global leadership role in implementing them.

Short of such action, the pandemic will continue its devastation, driven by a lack of political will to truly engage in a global, collective effort to protect everyone, everywhere.

Sincerely,

  • Action Corps 
  • Africa Faith and Justice Network 
  • AIDS Healthcare Foundation 
  • Alianza Americas 
  • American Federation of Teachers Connecticut
  • American Jewish World Service 
  • American Medical Student Association 
  • Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network
  • Bangladesh Krishok Federation 
  • BARAC UK
  • CASA 
  • Center for Popular Democracy
  • Congregation of Our Lady of Charityof the Good Shepherd, U.S. Provinces 
  • Doctors For America Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) North America 
  • Faith for Safe Water Fondation
  • Eboko Foundation for Integrative AIDS Research 
  • Free the Vaccine for COVID-19
  • Global Health Partners 
  • Health GAP (Global Access Project) 
  • Hope for Future Generations
  • Human Rights Watch 
  • IFARMA Foundation 
  • I-MAK 
  • Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility 
  • Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns 
  • Médecins Sans Frontières USA 
  • Metro New York Health Care for All 
  • National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd
  • National Nurses United
  • Network Lobby for Catholic Social Justice
  • New York Doctors Coalition
  • New York Trade Justice Coalition
  • Oxfam America
  • Plateforme de la Diaspora Tchadienne en America
  • Progressive Doctors
  • Public Citizen
  • Rise and Resist
  • Salud y Farmacos
  • SECTION27
  • Service Employees International Union
  • Showing Up for Racial Justice NYC
  • Social Security Works
  • Society for International Development
  • SODECA- KENYA
  • Sojourners
  • Sukaar Welfare Organization
  • The Episcopal Church
  • The United Methodist Church – General Board of Church and Society
  • Third World Network
  • Treatment Action Group
  • Unity Fellowship of Christ Church NYC
  • Universities Allied for Essential Medicines
  • VOCAL-NY
  • Washington Office on Latin America
  • World Renew

For further details download this attachment below:

  

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Delivering a #PeoplesVaccine

The G7 meeting in Cornwall last July failed to meet the expectations of citizens across the world regarding vaccine equity. Ahead of the G20 Health Ministers’ Meeting in Rome, on 5-6 September, we now have another opportunity to put an end to vaccine nationalism and advocate for a fair distribution of vaccines.

We are failing a historical moral test by choosing vaccine nationalism over our common interest. If we fail to stop the transmission and the mutation of the virus -swiftly and in all countries- we will have to overcome socio-economic consequences of unprecedented magnitude. 

Club de Madrid and partners from the People’s Vaccine Alliance are organising this Live Session to underscore the moral failure of the recent G7 meeting. During the discussion, we will call for developed nations meeting in the G7 to take the reins and do what is right: vehemently reject nationalistic approaches to vaccination and support poorer nations in the fight against a pandemic that affects us all. 

Join us in our plea to end vaccine nationalism. Let’s call wealthy nations to fulfil our moral obligation and pursue our common interest.

Delivering a #PeoplesVaccine – A Moral Obligation and our Common Interest

1 September – 4PM CEST / 10AM EDT

REGISTER HERE!

Speakers:

·    Joyce Banda, President of Malawi (2012-2014) and Club de Madrid Member

·    Gordon Brown, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (2007-2010) and Club de Madrid Member

·    Rudelmar Bueno de Faria, General Secretary of the ACT Alliance 

·    Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of UNAIDS and Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations

·    Facilitator: Amanda Khozi Mukwashi, Chief Executive, Christian Aid

A #PeoplesVaccine is our moral obligation and common interest. Let’s make it clear to developed nations meeting in the #G7!

Join our Live Session

📅1 Sep

⏰4PM CEST / 10AM EDT

Register: https://bit.ly/3yZV838

 

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A Guide to mRNA Wellness Therapy

This Free the Vaccine for COVID-19 silliness is taking off on Instagram this week. Know someone who needs this kind of self-care in their wellness regimen?

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Access Champions News Take Action

August is Civic Health Month!

Better health begins when every citizen has a voice in the public policy decisions that affect their wellbeing.

Civic Health Month: a project of Vot-ER

Civic Health Month aims to make voting and civic participation accessible to all–particularly those underserved by the healthcare system in the United States. Civic Health Month is a nationwide celebration held each August to showcase the strengthening relationship between health care, healthy communities, and civic participation.

Vot-ER is an organization committed to the vision of healthy communities powered by an inclusive democracy. They help clinics, hospitals, and healthcare professionals to support their colleagues and patients with voter registration and requesting their mail-in ballots. They also build coalitions of healthcare and democracy organizations through Civic Health Month.

Learn more about how to get involved in Civic Health Month here. Vot-ER would also love for you to sign up to get a free healthy democracy kit here to help get patients, colleagues, and staff registered to vote!

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Street Art Fair in Ann Arbor Michigan

A week ago, Linda Wan and her husband created this for a big street-art fair in Ann Arbor, Michigan. According to the Wans, the response to their sign was overwhelmingly positive. Families even came up and started applauding the sign!

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News Take Action

Rally to End the Pandemic Everywhere

No one is safe until everyone is safe. Join an action to end the pandemic everywhere!

July 14 at 10 am ET
Dag Hammarskjold Plaza E. 47th Street, NYC

Covid-19 continues to rage across the world. We have less than 10% of the vaccines we need globally to end the pandemic. 

President Biden and other world leaders have only taken modest steps to address this global crisis, and it’s going to take our collective power to make Biden and global leaders act urgently to stop prolonging the pandemic.

Join the movement to end the global pandemic on July 14 at 10 am EDT at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza E. 47th Street (between 1 Ave. and 2 Ave.).

World leaders are dragging their feet and shielding pharmaceutical corporation profits, while Covid death tolls continue to climb around the world. People in the United States face the uncertainty of returning to in-person routines while the people we care about around the world continue to navigate the devastation of the pandemic.

In order to end the pandemic anywhere, we must end the pandemic everywhere.

Cosponsored by Health GAP, Center For Popular Democracy, SEIU CIR, Desis Rising Up and Moving (DRUM), Religions for Peace, Metro NY Health Care For All, Right to Health Action, Justice is Global, People’s Action

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Pandemics – There is no “normal” to go back to

“To get a better understanding of the problems with vaccine access, I spoke to Tayyiaba Farooq, who is the project manager of the Free the Vaccine Campaign, an international collective of volunteers who are making the case for making vaccines available for everyone. “The main issue in such a disparity in vaccine access is due to the fact that lower and middle-income countries (LMICs) are effectively-stocked out getting access to a supply.” she explained to me. “Since higher-income countries have bought up all of the vaccine supply, LMICs are left last in line to get access to the vaccines. This is due to the fact that many of these countries are able to afford to buy up large supplies of vaccine stock, a capability that many countries do not have. This leaves LMICs relying on alternative vaccines, and global aid through forms such as COVAX that still end up falling short of need”.

Check out the full article here.

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The People’s Vaccine Campaign

The People’s Vaccine campaign wants pharmaceutical companies to drop their patents to help distribute jabs to the billions of people across the world who remain unvaccinated.

On the afternoon of the 5th of May, a hundred or so activists gathered for a rally in Washington, D.C. While some spoke from a stage, others dressed in Care Bear costumes held a banner – also illustrated with Care Bears – that read: “Remind Joe Biden. Sharing is caring. Share the vaccine recipe and save lives! Free the vaccine for Covid-19.”

Halfway through the rally, Maanasa Gurram, a college student and project manager for the group Free the Vaccine, noticed something. “In the midst of one of the speeches someone came over to us and said, ‘I think Biden is supporting the waiver’”, she tells VICE World News. “We couldn’t believe it. The whole atmosphere changed to one of jubilation.”

The waiver Gurram is referring to is to the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, better known as TRIPS, which was signed by all member nations of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in 1994 and which continues to play a key part in how Covid-19 vaccines are manufactured and who gets them. The agreement protects the intellectual property rights of the pharmaceutical companies making the doses, meaning they do not have to share their recipes. 

This is partly why just over 2 percent of people in Africa have been vaccinated. It has also contributed to a situation in which India, where more vaccines are manufactured than anywhere else in the world, has struggled to protect its population, leading to the catastrophic surge in the new variant of the virus.

“As long as the virus spreads, it can mutate and move. Ending the pandemic is not a question of charity. It is a question of survival,” says Varsha Gandikota-Nellutla, a feminist economic justice advocate and campaigner with Progressive International, which will host a virtual summit to “speed up the production, distribution, and delivery of COVID vaccines to the world” on 18th to the 21st June. “The longer we wait, the more we are at risk: billions of lives, north and south, vaccinated and unvaccinated.”

Biden’s support for the TRIPS waiver, which could help pave the way for the mass production of free or easily affordable doses for poorer nations, surprised many campaigners, who had got used to both Republican and Democrat presidents fiercely guarding the intellectual property rights of big corporations. It also put the US at odds with its longstanding allies in the G7, particularly the UK, Canada and Germany.  

Before the G7 summit in Cornwall, the US announced that it would buy 500 million doses of Pfizer’s COVID vaccine to distribute to nearly 100 countries around the world. That was followed on the weekend by a promise from G7 leaders of “one billion COVID vaccines for poorer nations”. But as Bloomberg reported, the headline figures conceal a dispiriting reality: G7 countries have so far only promised 613 million “truly new doses” of the vaccine, with the one billion figure only reached by including pledges made starting back in February. 

Moreover, donations alone will not vaccinate the world. Discussions of the waiver at the summit appear to have been limited. The Indian government is lobbying G7 leaders to back the waiver, but a source familiar with that lobbying said that so far only the United States, France and elements within Germany’s leadership – but most definitely not Chancellor Angela Merkel, who said after the US announcement that the “protection of intellectual property is a source of innovation and it must remain so in the future”  – were onboard. As COVID-19 continues to kill people the world over, and as the threat of new variants jumping continents looms, demands to provide equitable access to vaccines are becoming ever more urgent.

For as long as there has been a COVID-19 vaccine, there has been a campaign for a “people’s vaccine”.

“A people’s vaccine is one that isn’t controlled by big pharmaceutical companies and is therefore one that can be got out as soon as possible, free of charge,” says Nick Dearden, director of the UK-based campaign group Global Justice Now, which is part of that group of over 50 organisations across the world – including Free the Vaccine, Oxfam and Amnesty – campaigning for a people’s vaccine. 

The waiving of the TRIPS agreement is key to this. If companies like Pfizer are compelled to share the recipes to their vaccines, those vaccines can be manufactured all over the world and distributed to the billions of people who remain unvaccinated, campaigners say.

Read the full article here.

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The Vaccine Divide (The Intercept)

Check out this video from Intercept talking about the TRIPS Waiver and vaccine divide. There is a special feature of some UAEM members including our founder Amy Kapcyznski, Maanasa Gurham, and a couple other of our UAEM members!