What the Covid vaccine is teaching us about global inequity
In wealthy countries, 1 in 4 people have been vaccinated against COVID-19 as compared to 1 in 500 in lower income countries. Vaccine apartheid is just the latest reminder of how global inequity works, where the select few in power dictate terms for everyone around the world. Big pharma today is no different from centuries-old agribusiness, who have long prioritized profits over people.
Thanks to global grassroots solidarity, the Biden administration now supports a proposal to waive intellectual property protections for COVID-19 vaccines. But we know pharmaceutical companies will put up a fight, and that other countries are already voicing their opposition.
Even if the waiver clears its significant hurdles, we are seeing reports about supply shortages, manufacturing challenges, and other pressing needs that include diagnostics, testing, and technology — all of which go beyond the scope of a single intellectual property waiver.
From Brazil to South Africa to India, Thousand Currents’ partners are battling on the frontlines of this pandemic. Until vaccines are available for everyone, they are mobilizing, feeding, and fighting for their communities right now.
The People for People Fund provides direct emergency relief AND brings continuous support to our grassroots and movement partners—who will long be dealing with the adverse effects of this COVID-19 vaccine inequity.
While many of us start to see the light, we have to make sure it’s bright enough for everyone.