UPDATE: In June 2022, the World Trade Organisation finally agreed to a limited TRIPS waiver, but it was overcomplicated and hardly resembled the original waiver supported by over 100 countries. That's because throughout the pandemic, pharmaceutical  companies lobbied relentlessly to hold up the passage of an effective waiver while they filled their pockets. In the end they couldn't match people power, but they'd achieved their goal. When the limited waiver passed, Amnesty and many others said it wouldn't be effective and it hasn't been. It is so complex countries are still unsure how to utilise it. Pharmaceutical companies knew this, but they'd held up the waiver for 2 years, enough time to make billions while people died unnecessarily.

When the limited waiver passed, it was agreed that in 6 months ( 17 December 2022), the inclusion of tests and treatments would be discussed, but the same pharmaceutical companies are now trying to use the same strategy to stop the expansion of the waiver. The pharmaceutical strategy has always been to delay, 'compromise' on something they know to be unworkable and then point to its failure. There is a supply issue with tests and treatments, but just like with vaccines, pharmaceutical companies are putting their profits before people. Unlike with vaccines, the limited waiver would have a greater impact on the supply of tests and treatments because they are easier to reverse engineer, and are less reliant on the transfer of trade secrets, something the limited waiver doesn't support.

We all have the right to live happy and healthy lives. But right now, billions of people in low and lower-middle-income countries are missing out on life-saving vaccines.

The Covid-19 pandemic has now entered its third year. But what could have been an extraordinary feat for
humanity - countries working closely together to ensure no one is left behind in vaccination efforts - is in fact the clearest
indication of vaccine inequality.

While almost two-thirds of the world’s population have received a vaccine, only 17% of people in low-income countries have received their first dose. This is a stark reminder that this pandemic is not over. Unequal access to Covid-19 diagnostics, treatments and vaccines continues to be a reality for millions, particularly in low- and lower-middle-income countries.

But it doesn't have to be like this. To ensure everyone has access to life-saving Covid-19 vaccines and medicines, we’re calling on the Albanese Government to; redistribute all surplus Covid-19 vaccine stocks and sponsor efforts at the World Trade Organization that would allow countries to develop vaccines, tests and treatments locally. 

We're challenging the Australian Government to do their part to help end this pandemic. There is no time to waste. This crisis requires that we act together to demand change.   

Take action and demand the Albanese Government help bring an end to global vaccine inequality now.