We invite you to watch this urgent and important webinar which discussed global efforts and efforts within the United States to secure the much needed TRIPS waiver – a necessary step to sharing vaccine patent information and ramping up production worldwide.
We talked specifically about the situation on the ground in Latin America, and heard from leading figures in the movement to end “vaccine apartheid” about what must be done to ensure that the rest of the world gets access to COVID vaccines and treatments. Panelists included:
- Felipe Carvalho, Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (Brazil), a journalist, health activist, and advocacy coordinator at MSF with more than 10 years of professional experience in public interest advocacy, communication campaigns, strategic litigation, public policy analysis, project management, training and lectures.
- Francisco Rossi, MD, IFARMA (Colombia) – Trained as a physician and epidemiologist, Dr. Rossi brings extensive international experience through his work on pharmaceutical regulation and health system reforms. He is currently the Senior Adviser at IFARMA Foundation, a non-profit research institute that focuses on medicines access, use and quality. Francisco also consults the World Health Organization, Pan American Health Organization, World Bank and European Union.
- Arthur Stamoulis, Citizens Trade Campaign – Arthur is executive director of Citizens Trade Campaign, a national coalition of labor, environmental, family farm, consumer, and human rights organizations working together to improve U.S. trade policy. Arthur has been one of the key leaders in the movement for the campaign to support the TRIPS waiver within the United States, coordinating coalition efforts both nationally and internationally.
- Will Jamil Wiltschko, Director California Trade Justice Coalition (host). As Director, Will led the Coalition’s statewide efforts in fighting the Trump Administration’s initial NAFTA 2.0 (USMCA) proposal. He currently is focused on leading efforts in California to support the TRIPS Waiver in order to combat vaccine apartheid.
In the past few weeks, a large number of countries have announced their support for the TRIPS waiver, joining the over 100 countries that already support it. But the European Union, led by Germany, continues to try to obstruct a final deal.
Whether in public or behind closed doors, the Biden administration and other governments are going to need to increase the pressure to pass a comprehensive TRIPS waiver now.
Each day of delay means more needless death, more families pushed into poverty, and more opportunities for COVID variants to develop that can evade current vaccines and start the pandemic all over again.