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How to end vaccine apartheid

Health

As countries like the UK start to plan for a life beyond Covid-19 restrictions, elsewhere in the world the pandemic is far from over. In India alone, thousands of people are dying from the virus every day.

To end the pandemic we need universal access to Covid-19 treatments and vaccines, but the twin threats of vaccine nationalism and pharmaceutical profit-making have so far stood in the way. Rich nations vaccinate a citizen every second while the majority of the poorest nations are yet to give a single dose.

How did we get here? And what can be done about vaccine apartheid? The US now says it will support a global waiver on patent protections for vaccines, and the EU – despite previous opposition, is now ‘ready to discuss it’. Is it too little too late or could we be at a turning point?

During this New Internationalist event on 18 May 2021, an expert panel shared their stories, how they’ve been able to make change happen and their thoughts on how to address the global inequities in vaccine access.

Joining New Internationalist Co-editor Amy Hall on the day:

* Sarojini Nadimpally – Public health researcher and co-founder of Sama, a Delhi-based organization that bridges the public health and women’s movements and a part of People's Health Movement.

* Heidi Chow – Senior campaigns and policy manager at Global Justice Now. Heidi leads GJN’s pharmaceutical campaign to fight for access to medicines across the world.

For nearly 50 years NI has been publishing pioneering journalism on global inequality, covering the stories you won’t read anywhere else. In contrast to most of the media, we are owned by 3,600 of our readers! Through the Save Our Stories community share offer – open until 1 June – we are inviting more people to come on board and help us recover from the financial impacts of the pandemic.

Read more about vaccine equality in the May/June edition of New Internationalist.

New Internationalist issue 531 magazine cover This article is from the May-June 2021 issue of New Internationalist.
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