The Global Call to Action against Poverty (GCAP) has called on world leaders to remove patent rights associated with the production of vaccines in order to win the fight against Covid-19.
GCAP and Abibinsroma Foundation, in marking the second anniversary of the declaration of Covid-19 as a global pandemic, asked vaccine manufacturers to make the vaccines cheaper so poorer nations could afford.
In a statement on Friday at the Training Centre of the Tema General Hospital, Mrs. Celestina Obeng, the Tourism Ambassador for Abibinsroma Foundation said, “As we enter the second year of the Covid-19 pandemic, billions of people worldwide still don’t have access to Covid vaccinations and treatments."
Mrs. Obeng noted that notwithstanding, pharmaceutical companies were recording profits of over $1 million per hour and world leaders had refused to stand up to them.
In that regard, she indicated, “Today, more than ever, we are repeating our call for a ‘People’s Vaccine,’ because every life lost now is avoidable.”
Mrs Obeng therefore called on governments across the globe to urgently implement a global roadmap to deliver the WHO goal of fully vaccinating 70% of people by mid-2022, “And beyond this ensure maintained, timely and equitable access worldwide to Covid-19 vaccines, treatments, tests and other medical technologies, including all effective and safe next-generation Covid-19 vaccines and medical technologies.”
Mrs. Obeng also called for the maximization of the production of safe and effective vaccines, treatment and other Covid-19 products by suspending relevant intellectual property rules and ensuring the mandatory pooling of all Covid-19 related knowledge, data and technologies so that any nation can produce or buy sufficient and affordable vaccines, treatments and tests.
GCAP Ghana asked for an investment of public funds into a rapid and massive increase in vaccine manufacturing as well as research and development capacity to build a globally distributed network capable of and governed to deliver affordable vaccines as global public goods to all nations.
She pleaded that the manufacturers made Covid-19 vaccines, treatment and tests available to governments and institutions at a price as close to the true costs as possible, and provided free of charge to everyone, everywhere and allocated according.
Mrs Obeng hinted at the need to scale up sustainable investment in public health systems to ensure that the low and middle income countries had adequate resources to get shots into arms and save lives.
“These investments would pay dividends in the global economy and restore economic and developmental gains which the global Covid-19 pandemic has partially restored,” she added.
The Medical Director of Tema General Hospital, Dr. Richard Anthony, in adding his voice to the plea, observed how Ghana had made tremendous efforts in containing the virus and urged all those who had not yet vaccinated to do so.
Dr. Anthony also called on all citizens to continue observing the Covid protocols to ensure that they stayed safe and prevented the spread of the diseases.
He also believed that the call to end the patent rights on the production of vaccines was right and pleaded with vaccine manufacturers to head to such a call.