Most people in G7 countries believe governments should make sure pharmaceutical companies share the formulas and technology of their vaccines, according to a new survey by the People’s Vaccine Alliance.
In a briefing on Wednesday, the alliance said an average of seven out of ten people in G7 countries want the government to guarantee shared knowledge of vaccines, according to the survey.
Respondents were asked if they believed that pharmaceutical companies should be fairly compensated for vaccine development, but should not have a monopoly on vaccines.
A total of 74 per cent in the UK want the government to prevent monopolies, and those from all political backgrounds support the intervention.
Support for government intervention was highest in Italy, with 82% of respondents in favor, followed by Canada, where 76% agree.
In the United States, 69% of citizens support the measure, while in Japan 58% agree with the action.
European Union member states are also in favor, with 70% support in Germany and 63% in France, according to the survey.
The vote was released when G7 members met in London, with a final day of formal talks on Wednesday. G7 members, who are part of the United Kingdom, the United States, Japan, France, Germany, Canada and Italy, will try to agree on a way to make coronavirus vaccines available worldwide in the long term.
On Tuesday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken agreed on the need for a global deployment of COVID-19 vaccines to end the pandemic.
“Prime Minister and Secretary Blinken has agreed that global vaccine deployment will be key to defeating the coronavirus pandemic,” Johnson’s office said in a statement. “They stressed the importance of the G7’s work in this area, including efforts to increase international manufacturing capacity.”
Separately on Wednesday, the World Trade Organization (WTO) will meet remotely, where members will discuss a proposal to waive intellectual property rights for the production of coronavirus vaccines during the pandemic.
Sponsors of the plan, originally presented by South Africa and India, argue that it would allow more locations to produce coronavirus vaccines without violating international standards under the WTO agreement on trade-related issues. intellectual property (TRIPS).
But the proposal has been blocked by countries such as the US, the UK, Japan, Canada and the EU. The US has confirmed yes reconsidering opposition to the waiver.
Pharmaceutical companies have so far refused to share their knowledge about vaccines and have argued that a waiver would harm innovation.
The WTO meeting comes as India struggles with a devastating second wave of coronavirus, which has left morgues and hospitals overwhelmed amid a lack of medical oxygen and beds.
The second most populous country in the world has confirmed more than 20 million infections, although it is believed that the figure is a lot lower. More than 220,000 people have died.
The increase, which some experts believe is driven by new variants of the virus, including a discovery for the first time in India, has left patients dying in ambulances and car parks.
The WHO has said the Indian variant has been extended to 17 countries.
“The horrific situation in India should shake G7 leaders to their core,” STOPAIDS defense manager Saoirse Fitzpatrick said in a statement.
“Now is not the time for an ideological defense of intellectual property rules. Bilateral agreements with pharmaceutical companies have not worked. Governments must intervene and force pharmaceutical companies to share their knowledge of intellectual property and vaccine with the world. ”
As president of the G7, the UK has proposed a pandemic preparedness plan, which ministers will discuss this week, which ignores the issue of monopolies and intellectual property. Pharmaceutical corporations like Pfizer are part of the team preparing the proposal, but governments in developing countries and vaccine producers have not been asked to join, Amnesty said.
“G7 governments have clear human rights obligations to put the lives of millions of people around the world ahead of the interests of the pharmaceutical companies they have funded,” said Steve Cockburn, head of Economic and Social Justice. ‘Amnesty International.
“It would be a serious failure of leadership to continue to block the compartment of life-saving technologies and would only serve to prolong the immense pain and suffering caused by this pandemic.”
In April, 175 former world leaders and Nobel laureates, including Gordon Brown, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Francois Hollande in an open letter, urged U.S. President Joe Biden to support the United States temporary waiver of intellectual property rights for COVID-19 vaccines.
Leading health experts around the world have warned that slow vaccine deployment and uneven distribution could mean vaccines will be ineffective as new coronavirus mutations appear among unvaccinated populations.
Independent SAGE, which offers independent public health advice in the UK, has also applied for a patent exemption.
Pharmaceutical companies that produce coronavirus vaccines have received billions in public funding and guaranteed advance orders, including $ 12 billion from the U.S. government alone. It is estimated that 97 percent of funding for the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine came from public sources, Amnesty said.
“Companies have paid $ 26 billion combined in dividends and stock rewards to their shareholders this year, enough to vaccinate at least 1.3 billion people, the equivalent of Africa’s population.”