Oxfam called on governments today to deliver a cast iron pledge that coronavirus vaccines, treatments, and diagnostics will be made available to every person on the planet free of charge and according to need, as the Global Coronavirus Response pledging marathon was hosted by the European Union, UK, France and Saudi Arabia. In response to more than $8 billion committed for research and development, Anna Marriott, Oxfam’s Health Policy lead, made the following statement:
“The $8 billion pledged today is a very positive start - but only a start. More money will be needed to support the global manufacture and fair distribution of vaccines, treatments, and diagnostics, including the recruitment of millions more health workers in poor countries.
“At the World Health Assembly later this month governments must also provide a cast iron guarantee that all publicly funded vaccines, treatments, and diagnostics will be patent free, made available according to need, and free at the point of delivery.
“We must learn the lessons from the fight against HIV and Swine Flu where the narrow self-interests of corporations and governments meant vaccines and treatments were too expensive or arrived too late. This cost countless lives across the developing world.
“President Trump remains isolated and antagonistic to an international collaboration aimed at saving lives of people across the globe. No one individual, community, or country can overcome this crisis alone - we must all work together.”