As long as COVID-19 exists anywhere in the world, it is a threat everywhere. But, in spite of our shared risk, the world's richest countries have exercised a "me first" approach to the COVID-19 vaccine, buying up more than half the total supply – with grave consequences for the world's poor.
Under the current system, some countries may not receive their vaccines until the year 2024. The risk of prolonging the pandemic for another three years – and the potential for even more variants to emerge – would be dire.
What we are witnessing now is nothing less than the ongoing inequality crisis playing out through vaccine access. Decades of progress in poverty-reduction are at risk. Simply put, equitable global access to COVID-19 vaccines is an urgent matter of justice – and an equally urgent matter of public health.
The quickest way to increase vaccine supply is to convince Big Pharma to share vaccine know-how and technology with generic drug manufacturers to increase the volume and pace of vaccine delivery. But without pressure from governments, we know Big Pharma will not voluntarily give up their monopolies and the massive profits they stand to make from the pandemic.
Over the past year, Canada has made large contributions to the global fund in charge of distributing vaccines to poor countries. However, Canada has not joined the 100 countries at the World Trade Organization leading the charge to waive intellectual property rights and patents on COVID-19 vaccines.
Sign the petition today to urge Prime Minister Trudeau to put lives before the profits of Big Pharma.