Brussels, 29 May 2020 - “Vaccines, tests, diagnostics, treatments and other key tools in the coronavirus response must be made universally available as global public goods”. President of Costa Rica Alvarado announced today along with WHO Tedros Ghebreyesus the new #COVID19 Technology Access Pool. It's a way to go beyond global competition, nationalist stances and pharma corporates interests for the good of humanity. On the day Donald Trump announces US quit the WHO indefinitely, Dr Tedros makes a step forward on the front of global solidarity.
So far 37 countries joined the Pool to share data and intellectual property to give all countries and companies way to tools and findings to defeat pandemic “The COVID-19 Technology Access Pool will ensure the latest and best science benefits all of humanity,” said Tedros Ghebreyesus underscoring that “global solidarity and collaboration are essential to overcoming COVID-19.”
The initiative comes at a stage of high competition in the race for the vaccine and increasing confrontational positions between US and China while uncertainty over the future is affecting us all: impossible to figure out to get back to normal life without a vaccine.
None of the G7 joined the voluntary Pool scheme so far, nor China, India or Russia. In Europe only Belgium, Portugal, Luxembourg, Norway and The Netherlands joined. For the most part looks like developed countries aren't inclined to give out profits and national gains by sharing information, scientific findings, technologies and intellectual property with the rest of the world for the good of humanity and to tackle the most dangerous pandemic in a century which not only caused 360.000 deaths so far, but is crushing economies globally.
Any recovery, both of health and economy, depends on vaccine, or at least, on a cure leading to Covid-19 control as happened with AIDS. We did not find any so far. Scientific community is not clearly even near to any solution.
As deaths are still soaring in developing countries, advanced economies should lay their hand instead of rising barriers.
The rest of G20 developed economies showing in front of cameras during expensive summits how much they care about the good of South America, South Asia and Africa while blaming the UN of being a talking shop, are, at present, unwilling to join.
Let's see over the next weeks who will be in the Technology Access Pool which is specifically a Solidarity Call to Action for the scientific community/researchers, governments, stake holders, patients and communities, inter-governmental, non-governmental and civil society organizations.
37 countries so far joined the Technology Access Pool. Argentina, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Brazil, Bhutan, Chile, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Honduras, Indonesia, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Maldives, Mexico, Mongolia, Mozambique, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Palau, Panama, Peru, Portugal, Saint Vincent and Grenadines, South Africa, Sudan, The Netherlands, Timor Leste, Uruguay, Zimbabwe.
The five key elements to the Pool:
1 Public disclosure of gene sequences and data;
2 Transparency around the publication of all clinical trial results;
3 Governments and other funding parts are encouraged to include clauses in funding agreements with pharmaceutical companies and other innovators about equitable distribution, affordability and the publication of trial data;
4 Licensing any potential treatment, diagnostic, vaccine or other health technology to the Medicines Patent Pool - a United Nations-backed public health body that works to increase access to, and facilitate the development of, life-saving medicines for low- and middle-income countries.
5 Promotion of open innovation models and technology transfer that increase local manufacturing and supply capacity, including through joining the Open Covid Pledge and the Technology Access Partnership (TAP).
Justine de Braeme
From WHO and Costa Rica a call for solidarity to fight Covid:
37 countries joined, only 5 among developed economies