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Update 7/5/2021: The US, France and Spain have signalled their intention to support the TRIPS waiver proposal. Australia is at risk of being isolated on the global stage.

In an unprecedented global health crisis, COVID-19 has caused the deaths of over 3.4 million people by May 2021. It has highlighted and magnified inequalities, and disproportionately affected marginalized populations.

To get through to the other side of this pandemic it is essential that the extraordinary global efforts to develop, manufacture and distribute tests, treatments and vaccines for COVID-19 are conducted in ways that respect human rights.

We want Australia to be a good global citizen when it comes to promoting and defending human rights, especially in the time of COVID-19. Australia has a vital role to play in the equal access of COVID-19 vaccines, particularly in the Asia-Pacific.

Under international human rights law, countries have an obligation to work together to respond to the pandemic, and wealthier states have a special responsibility to assist states with fewer resources. But some governments have already adopted a “me first” approach that could undermine the efficacy of a future vaccine. 

Whilst the Australian government has made broad announcements that it will support our regional neighbours, there are no details: no timeline and no idea regarding coverage.

Many high-income countries have made advance purchases of billions of doses of future vaccines for their populations, leaving limited potential supplies for others. Australia is one of these countries - under existing plans, Australia has bought approximately four vaccine doses for every Australian, when we only need two each.

Australia has also opposed the Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement. The proposal would facilitate technology transfers so that COVID-19 medical products including vaccines could be produced quickly and affordably by manufacturers around the world. 

Take action and tell the Australian government to take a lead in ensuring universal access to COVID-19 vaccines in our region, and to support the TRIPS Agreement.

 

 

 

Sign the Petition

  Our Petition

 

Senator the Hon. Marise Payne  
PO Box 6100
Senate
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600
 
The Hon. Dan Tehan MP
PO Box 6022
House of Representatives
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

Dear Ministers Tehan and Payne,

I am ashamed to learn that the Australian government has ordered more COVID-19 vaccines than needed to vaccinate all Australians, AND that it has opposed the TRIPS Agreement.

We want Australia to be a good global citizen when it comes to promoting and defending human rights, especially in the time of COVID-19. Australia has a vital role to play in the equal access of COVID-19 vaccines, particularly in the Asia-Pacific.

We the undersigned call on the Australian government to:

1. Outline a clear plan of how Australia will contribute towards universal access of COVID-19 vaccines in the Asia Pacific.

2. Support the TRIPS Agreement at the next possible opportunity.

Yours sincerely,

 

 

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