“Waive Vaccine Patents” is Projected onto Hotel Hosting UK’s Annual Conservative Conference

Vaccine access campaigners have projected a request to waive vaccine patents onto the hotel where the annual conservative party conference is being held.

As the United Kingdom government gathers in Manchester for its annual conference, vaccine access campaigners have made their point clear in 8-foot lettering on the walls of One Manchester Tower, where the conservative party’s annual conference is being held. On Oct. 3rd, 2021, The People’s Vaccine Alliance projected “The world is watching. 10,000 people die every day from Covid-19 while the UK defends vaccine monopolies. Boris Johnson, waive vaccine patents and vaccinate the world” onto the building.

Attempts to waive IP ownership rights at the World Trade Organization (WTO) have been consistently blocked by the UK government. Germany has also blocked this measure, while the United States lent support to its passage in May after pressure from low and middle income countries.

A newly formed German coalition government may favor its passing, which would then leave the UK in a state of isolated opposition. The WTO’S intellectual property council will meet on Oct. 4th, 2021.

“Right now, Boris Johnson is enforcing a system of vaccine apartheid,” said Nick Deard, director of Global Justice Now, in a press release from the organization. “At [the] Conservative Party conference this week, he must finally get out of the way of countries producing their own vaccine. Failing to act will shame the UK for a generation or more.”

“The UK Government must tackle COVID-19 monopolies and push pharmaceutical companies to share their manufacturing know-how through the World Health [Organization],” said Saoirse Fitzpatrick, advocacy manager at STOPAIDS, in the press release. “The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine was 97% publicly funded, - including a significant contribution from UK taxpayers. The Government must work with AstraZeneca and the WHO to make this vaccine a global public good.”

Source: Global Justice Now