'We must collaborate on vaccines because no one is safe until everyone is safe'
US President Joe Biden's administration on 5 May 2021 announced its support for a global waiver on patent protections for COVID-19 vaccines, offering hope to poor nations that have struggled to access the life-saving doses.
India, where the death toll hit a new daily record amid fears the peak is still to come, has asked the World Trade Organization to allow more drugmakers to manufacture the vaccines to which pharma giants oppose.
United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health, Dr. Tlaleng Mofokeng says it's important to note the incredible work that civil society organisations have done in placing pressure on different states, the UN and their own countries in ensuring the different visions from different countries are being heard.
I can tell you these games that we are seeing now with this momentum and shift towards the support of temporary waiver of the intellectual property relating to the vaccine development of COVID-19, comes from the results of the incredible work of many civil society organisations.Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng, Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health - United Nations
She added that President Biden supporting this global waiver has made other countries follow his example.
Mofokeng went on to explain how the UN has rectified important resolutions imparticular the international covenant on economic social and cultural rights which define the obligations states have when it comes to the right of health at a national level.
The reason why members of the states and this has become a global human rights issue is that we know that the states or government can not delegate their authority or responsibility to their third party's and this remains an obligation when it comes to the fulfillment of the rights of all citizens.Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng, Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health - United Nations
With a disaster of this global scale, we have to absolutely work in solidarity and in collaboration because we know no one is safe until everyone is safe.Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng, Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health - United Nations
Mofokeng says she worries if the vaccine is produced and comes from high-income countries they might set conditions that work adversely against low-income countries.
Many low-income countries, small islands, and developing states may have to go into further debt to be able to finance vaccines which is why we are calling for regional scaling up of the manufacturing.Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng, Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health - United Nations
Listen to the full interview below...
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