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Oxfam reaction to UK government’s pledge to donate 30 million COVID-19 vaccine doses by the end of the year

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In response to the UK government’s announcement it will be donating 5 million doses to low and lower-middle income countries in the coming weeks and a further 25 million doses by the end of the year, Oxfam’s Health Policy Manager, Anna Marriott said:

“The UK's pledge to donate 30 million doses by the end of the year represents just 0.4 per cent of the doses needed by the nearly four billion people depending on COVAX for vaccines. This is a drop in the ocean and certainly doesn't put people squarely above profit.

“It’s simply not good enough for Prime Minister Boris Johnson to point to a trickle of donations and the AstraZeneca vaccine as the UK’s solution to a global pandemic, especially when AstraZeneca’s supply for low and middle income countries is massively delayed due to the scale of the COVID crisis in India.

“The UK should do the right thing, alongside other G7 leaders like President Biden and President Macron by supporting the TRIPS waiver and insisting the vaccine know-how and technology is shared, which would help to dramatically increase global supply.”

Ends

For more information, or to arrange an interview please contact the Oxfam Press Office on: 07748 761999 or email media.unit@oxfam.or.uk

Notes to editors:

  • Oxfam is part of the People’s Vaccine Alliance, a movement advocating that COVID-19 vaccines are manufactured rapidly and at scale, as global common goods, free of intellectual property protections and made available to all people, in all countries, free of charge.
  • Earlier this morning, the European Parliament also supported an amendment calling for Europe to support the temporary suspension of intellectual property rules for COVID-19 vaccines, tests, and treatments.
  • The TRIPs waiver was tabled by South Africa and India in October 2020 to boost vaccine supplies and other COVID-19 health technologies globally. In May the US joined over 100 other countries and backed this waiver for the vaccines.
  • According to latest World Health Organisation data, Africa has seen a 25 per cent increase in COVID cases in the past week: https://www.who.int/publications/m/item/weekly-epidemiological-update-on-covid-19---8-june-2021
  • On vaccine capacity in developing countries: India already produces 60 percent of the world’s vaccines and just over a fifth of the world’s COVID-19 vaccines to date, yet only a handful of the country’s 20 plus vaccine manufacturers are currently involved in COVID-19 vaccine production. The Director General of the World Trade Organization, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has also reported that the governments of Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, South Africa and Senegal have all said that they have facilities that could possibly be retooled to produce coronavirus vaccines.

PRESS CONTACT

For comments, interviews, or information please contact Sophie Bowell (Press Officer):

Mobile: +447810814980
Email: sbowell@oxfam.org.uk
Twitter: @sophbow