End "Vaccine Apartheid"

With the new omicron covid variant burning its way through the US and global populations, Green Party activists demanded that the Biden administration follow through on its stated policy of having covid vaccine patents waived in order to make covid vaccines affordable and available throughout the world.


“Global vaccine apartheid, where covid vaccines are too expensive and unavailable to people in low-income countries, is not only immoral. It is also a public health threat to people in high-income and relatively highly vaccinated countries like the US. President Biden should do all he can to lift the covid vaccine patents in order to enable all nations to cheaply manufacture and distribute the vaccines,” said Howie Hawkins, the Green Party candidate for President in 2020.
Howie was interviewed by WBAI-FM, Pacifica Radio in New York City for their Dec. 29, 2021, 6pm news. Howie's segment on ending vaccine patents runs from 20:50 to 25:00.


Public health experts say that expanding vaccination throughout the world would curb the amount of virus in circulation and reduce the emergence of new mutations and variants in regions where vaccination rates are low.


The Green Party's 2016 presidential candidate, Jill Stein, a medical doctor, commented, "Making vaccines available without deadly patent restrictions is one of many critical steps that should be taken immediately to address the wider crisis in public health underlying the COVID-19 pandemic. Predatory profiteering should be eliminated from pharmaceutical sales and health care in general. And it ought to start by making life-saving treatments available as a public good. A nation that's squandered $21 trillion dollars on disastrous militarism over the past two decades can afford to put health care over profit at home and abroad, starting with simple steps to end vaccine apartheid."


74% of all vaccines dispensed this year went to high and upper-middle-income countries, while less than 1% went to low-income countries.


The World Trade Organization (WTO) can waive covid vaccine patents globally with unanimous support from all 164 members. India and South Africa proposed such a waiver in October 2020.


President Biden came out in support of a vaccine patent waiver in April 2021 and reiterated that position on November 26. But behind closed doors three days later at an informal meeting of the WTO’s Council for Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), Biden administration representatives did not push for a patent waiver.


The US government could also require its own US-based pharmaceutical companies to share vaccine know-how with the World Health Organization (WHO). To support the national defense imperative of global vaccination, the president has the legal authority to take that step under the Defense Product Act. But Biden has refused. The US government already possesses the recipe for the Moderna vaccine because government scientists from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) co-developed it. 


The Biden administration also has the authority to make vaccine formulas public under Section 1498 of the federal code, which provides for an eminent domain takeover of patents in the public interest, and under the “march-in rights" to make patents public provided for in the Patent and Trademark Law Amendments Act (Bayh-Dole Act) of 1980.


120 companies covering every continent have the technical requirements and quality standards to make mRNA vaccines. 


“It is time for Biden’s hypocrisy of taking different public and private positions on patent waivers to end. It is time for Biden to stop pandering to Big Pharma and its opposition to a patent waiver. It is time for Biden to require US drug companies to share their vaccine recipes and to put the pressure on other high-income countries that are opposing a patent waiver, including the European Union and the UK, to support a global vaccine waiver by the WTO,” said Lois Gagnon, co-chair of the Massachusetts Green-Rainbow Party.


“Since the public paid for the development of these vaccines, the vaccines should be in the public domain for public benefit. What we have now is socialized investment subsidizing private profits. The public is being ripped off while public health is being undermined by putting Big Pharma profits before people,” Gagnon added.


The US government spent around $20 billion subsidizing covid vaccine development. The big drug companies are using their monopolies on covid vaccines to charge prices that are at least five times and as high as 24 times their production cost. The pharmaceutical companies that produced the most successful vaccines – Pfizer, BioNTech, and Moderna – will make an estimated $34 billion in profits in 2021. 


The Green activists noted the vaccine announced last week by the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, saying that if it does prove to be safe and effective against all Covid-19 and SARS variants, it should be licensed for free because it is wholly owned by the US government. 


Public Citizen has calculated that “a $25 billion investment in vaccine production by the US government would produce enough vaccine for low- and middle-income countries in one year.”


The Green activists called upon Congress to adopt the End the Pandemic Now Resolution (House Concurrent Resolution 60), a non-binding resolution that calls on the US government to work in the WTO for a global waiver of covid vaccine patents and to use the Defense Production Act to require US drug companies to share their vaccine technology.


The Greens said that vaccine apartheid during the current covid pandemic demonstrates why the world should replace the system of private patents for pharmaceuticals with a free, universal, and public vaccination system. They expressed their support for the manifesto to “End the System of Private Patents!” issued by the Committee for the Abolition of Illegitimate Debt!” which calls for “the expropriation and socialization under popular control of the private pharmaceutical industry as a basis for a universal public health system that promotes the production of generic treatments and medicines.”

Showing 4 reactions

  • Marvin Sandnes
    commented 2022-01-12 00:47:29 -0500
    This is our new face of war. 1st the truth, then the most vulnerable. Look for Patterns.
  • Mariah Leung
    commented 2022-01-10 13:02:40 -0500
    I had hoped that Jill Stein and other former Green Party candidates like Ajamu Baraka would have had the courage and integrity to endorse the National Black Caucus of the Green Party’s statement against vaccine mandates and passports.

    “We Say No To Mandates

    WASHINGTON — The National Black Caucus of the Green Party of the United States strongly opposes the use of forced vaccination via mandates and the discrimination that is being generated around these policies.

    For Immediate Release:
    Monday, December 13, 2021

    Today’s polarizing climate is competing for the trust and confidence of citizens more than ever before. The nature of power is changing and these changes are not measured simply by a degree of control by covid mandates and quarantines.

    In today’s political environment, the speed and accessibility of information created “digital reflections" that made medical facts vulnerable, eroding trust between the White House administration, National Institute of Health, US Dept of Public Health, Center for Disease Control, and the World Health Organization. The fear of losing control in our fast paced social media environment is pushing us toward exclusion. Our current leaders, whether Congress or the White House administration, and even our current Steering Committee, should instead develop an instinct for inclusion.

    The coronavirus pandemic is one of our most dangerous wars in human history, because the most lethal attacks are the ones that catch us off guard. Being caught off guard has caused erroneous data reporting that is currently being exposed by Freedom of Information Act request, because we are not only unsure about the numbers, but being certain that the numbers are incorrect, is the most difficult issue many are facing today.

    In a pandemic world where verifying case numbers is becoming increasingly difficult, inclusion is imperative and our Consumer Protection Plank of the Green Party of the United States must be honored.

    Lockdowns, mandates and passports are the major issue of the day with millions of people protesting against them worldwide. In fact, what has become known as the Medical Freedom movement is arguably the biggest and most diverse international movement in world history.

    Vaccine mandates and vaccine passports are among the most vile, unconstitutional, immoral, unscientific, discriminatory and outright criminal policies ever enforced upon the population and goes against everything the Green Party stands for under Social Justice. These policies are coming from an out-of-control government at the behest of the pharmaceutical industry. The mainstream media and social media are also working in lock-step to censor any and all doctors, scientists, and investigative journalists who have an opposing view or who even question the current mainstream media orthodoxy.

    Workers are being forced out of their jobs, many with medical exceptions from their doctors, students are being denied entrance to educational institutions, needed medical treatment is being denied, medical privacy is being violated, constitutionally protected rights to movement and assembly (including the right to travel) are being threatened, rights to normal societal participation are being decimated.

    It has taken a while, but more recently many medical professionals, elected officials and federal judges have come out fully against lockdowns, vaccine mandates, vaccine passports and of course massive censorship. There is a growing clarity among many that these measures have nothing to do with health and everything to do with a power-grab at levels never before seen in the history of the world.

    The National Black Caucus of the Green Party of the United States adheres to the principle that Informed Consent in all personal health and medical decisions is an inalienable human right.
    Under no circumstances shall any medical treatment or procedure — including psychotropic medications, vaccines and/or other injectable treatments — be mandated or coerced. Individuals should be allowed to protect/heal themselves in a manner that best supports their medical and spiritual beliefs.

    The coercive methods we oppose include: - Threats to personal health information privacy at every level - Discrimination and/or lack of access to public education, public housing, or other public services - Removal of minors from their guardians - Any travel restrictions and/or restrictions from public spaces based on a requirement for “vaccine passports” or any other proof of “compliance” with any medical intervention - Vaccine requirements that target specific populations based on ethnicity / race, even if positioned as correcting disparities

    We further oppose the use of privacy-invasive technology and artificial intelligence (AI) monitoring systems (including facial recognition, fingerprint apps, tracking cell phones or any other personal electronic devices and credit score systems) as a way to monitor and track the movements and/or restrict the rights of individuals to freely exist and assemble as they choose, especially when applied to personal health care choices."

  • David Slesinger
    commented 2022-01-09 22:45:09 -0500
    The reason COVID-19 is much less of a problem in Africa than in the developed world is that large numbers of Africans take Ivermectin (IVN) to handle river blindness and Ivermectin has been an excellent repurposed medication for COVID. In addition, large numbers of Africans also take Hydroxychloroquine because malaria is widespread in the tropics and HCQ has been effective against malaria for decades. Big pharma controls the press in the developed world and suppresses evidence of the value of IVN and HCQ for COVID. The developers of IVN won the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2015.
  • Jack Swindlehurst
    published this page in News 2022-01-01 11:44:39 -0500