LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–As the demand for COVID-19 vaccine booster shots is growing across wealthy countries, an already underwhelming progress in vaccinating the rest of the world is at grave risk of falling even further behind. Today, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) called on the Biden Administration to urgently declare an emergency and suspend patent protections on vaccines, so that they can be manufactured at high volumes across the world to meet the global demand.
“In a constantly evolving pandemic, where the world seems to be weeks, if not months, behind the virus at every turn, we have an urgent message for President Biden – the US must break the patents and invoke TRIPS* flexibilities now!” said AHF President Michael Weinstein. “We cannot vaccinate the world quickly enough without dispensing with every single barrier that stands in the way of dramatically increasing vaccine production – that means compulsory licensing and technology transfers.”
There are indications that the Administration might be walking back its prior commitment to keep supplying the rest of the world with vaccines while also ensuring the domestic demand for booster shots is met. If that happens, enormous swaths of the global population will be left unvaccinated or under-vaccinated, which would leave an opening for even more variants to arise.
*TRIPS refers to the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights. It allows countries to suspend patent compliance during public health emergencies.
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to over 1.6 million clients in 45 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Europe. To learn more about AHF, please visit our website: www.aidshealth.org, find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth and follow us on Twitter: @aidshealthcare and Instagram: @aidshealthcare
US MEDIA CONTACT:
Ged Kenslea, Senior Director, Communications, AHF
+1.323.308.1833 work +1.323.791.5526 mobile
Denys Nazarov, Director of Global Policy &