Trócaire calls on people to call on the Irish government to play its part in ending vaccine injustice

Trócaire calls on the people to call on the Irish government to play its part in ending vaccine injustice by ensuring that the most vulnerable people in developing countries have access to Covid-19 vaccines.

March 11, 2022 marks two years since Covid-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. So far, according to official records, around 6 million people have died of Covid-19 worldwide. However, the actual death toll is estimated to be much higher.

Trócaire warned that this figure will continue to rise and called on the Irish public to email their TDs demanding that the Irish government support the temporary intellectual property waiver (TRIPS waiver at the World Trade Organization) to increase access to vaccines for low-income countries. In low-income countries, only 6.3% of people have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, according to Our World in Data. In high-income countries, 73% of the population has been fully immunized with at least two doses. However, despite this gross injustice, Ireland has yet to support a temporary waiver of the TRIPS Agreement that would force big pharma to share intellectual property that would allow countries in the South to manufacture vaccines themselves. and generic treatments.

Caoimhe de Barra, CEO of Trócaire, said the pandemic will not end until everyone has access to Covid-19 vaccines, tests and treatments.

“Vaccines have played a vital role in protecting Irish citizens against Covid-19 and have contributed to the recent reopening of Irish society. However, the social and economic recovery from this pandemic is far from global. Inequalities in access to vaccines between high-income and low-income countries remain stark, prolonging the global public health emergency,” said de Barra.

“Pharmaceutical companies currently have too much power and control over where Covid-19 vaccines are produced and at what cost. Meanwhile, vaccine inequality has a huge impact on poorer countries. Countries should be allowed to produce their own generic versions of vaccines. It’s about global solidarity and justice for the world’s most vulnerable communities.

“The direct impacts of this inequality are reflected in preventable deaths and the growing number of people living in extreme poverty and hunger. Vaccine inequality also increases the risk of new coronavirus variants emerging that threaten social and economic recovery globally.

Ms de Barra called on the people of Leitrim to support the proposed Temporary Intellectual Property Waiver (TRIPS), which would allow affordable vaccine manufacture and predictable supply around the world. The waiver was supported by the vast majority of World Trade Organization members, however, the EU persisted in opposing the initiative.

“Trócaire is calling on the people of Leitrim to stand with those most at risk from Covid-19 by urging the Irish government to support the temporary TRIPS waiver and ensure the EU undoes its lockdown on Covid-19. TRIPS waiver.

“It is very welcome that the Irish government has donated vaccines to low-income countries, but this is insufficient in the context of a global pandemic. I think it is high time for Ireland to make its voice heard in favor of the temporary waiver at the World Trade Organisation,” Ms de Barra said.

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