South Africa is campaigning for the World Trade Organization (WTO) to waiver intellectual property rights on all products related to COVID-19 for the duration of the pandemic. Mustaqeem De Gama, Counsellor at the South African Permanent Mission in Geneva, is leading the campaign. Kerry Cullinan and Elaine Fletcher spoke to him about the reasons why […] Continue reading ->
The vaccine zero hour is approaching. As Norway’s Minister of International Development Dag Ulstein and South Africa’s Minister of Health Zweili Mkhize made yet another urgent plea Monday for some US$4.3 billion right now and another $US23.9 billion in 2021 to massively roll out new COVID19 vaccines, drugs and tests that are now coming on […] Continue reading ->
BREAKING – World Health Organization Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has proposed the creation of a Swiss-based global repository for sharing pathogen materials and clinical samples related to potential outbreak threats – allowing for the more rapid development of medical interventions.  The COVID-19 pandemic has shown the urgent need for this kind of system, said […] Continue reading ->
A series of new COVID-19 drug and vaccine funding commitments worth just over US$300 million were announced on Thursday by the Gates Foundation, France and the European Commission – amidst a quickening pace of anticipation that at least one, if not two, COVID-19 vaccines may soon become available.  Appearing at the Paris Peace Forum, Melinda […] Continue reading ->
Two competing approaches to promote access to medicines were born during the HIV/AIDS pandemic in the year 2000. Today, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, these same approaches are once more on a collision course.  On the one side is the ‘international’ COVID response, led in name by WHO, but in fact by what […] Continue reading ->
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, board chair of Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance, on Wednesday was named as the favored candidate to be the next World Trade Organization director-general  – after a months-long WTO campaign process and in a decisive moment of the COVID-19 pandemic. But as the United States came out in favor of the Republic of Korea’s […] Continue reading ->
America’s most-respected public health guru, Dr Anthony Fauci, said Wednesday that he is “cautiously optimistic’ that at least one COVID-19 vaccine will prove to be safe and effective later this month or next.   While warning that “one can never guarantee a safe and effective vaccine… we are cautiously optimistic that we will have one based […] Continue reading ->
  A sweeping proposal by India and South Africa to suspend the protection of intellectual property (IP) related to COVID-19 health products is set to come before the The World Trade Organization’s TRIPS Council this week.  The closed door discussion lays the groundwork for what could prove to  be the most significant public debate over […] Continue reading ->