Covid-19 is really exposing the ethical vacuum at the heart of the pharmaceutical industry, isn’t it?
Vaccines have been around for more than 220 years. Our kids are routinely vaccinated against diseases like measles, mumps, rubella and tetanus; we have ourselves vaccinated against more exotic diseases if we plan to travel to foreign countries. The companies making the vaccines are paid for them, and that’s fine.
But Covid-19 has created a huge opportunity for those companies because their vaccines are desperately-needed to stop people dying in a rapidly-spreading pandemic. They are charging huge amounts of money for their jabs and this is restricting the distribution of these substances around the world; if a country’s government can’t afford it, the people don’t get it.
The knock-on effect is that the people of these countries catch Covid-19 and it mutates, creating new variants, some of which are immune to the current vaccines.
It is unreasonable to restrict life-saving treatments in this way; it creates further threat to us all.
But the pharmaceutical companies are hiding behind TRIPS – the Agreement of Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property that restricts the right to manufacture vaccines to those companies that have patented them.
Labour MP Clive Lewis is supporting calls that initially came from South Africa and India to waive these companies’ patent rights temporarily, in order to make all of us safer, rather than just making a small number of shareholders richer.
Here’s his explanation of the issues – which shouldn’t be discounted just because he’s mistaken about the name of the new variant:
When the AIDS crisis threatened the world, Labour leadership helped break pharma monopolies on HIV drugs. Millions of lives were saved through global access to affordable medicines.
We must do the same today and demand Boris Johnson stops blocking the #TRIPSWaiver#WorldAidsDay pic.twitter.com/6gfVwh30Rv
— Clive Lewis MP (@labourlewis) December 1, 2021
Even if you don’t want vaccination for yourself – for whatever reasons of your own, this is something you should be able to support in order to allow other people to have the choice that you’ve taken.
But here’s one thing:
Isn’t it sad that Mr Lewis has also to appeal to his own party leader, Keir Starmer, to do the right thing?
Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.
Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:
Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.
1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.
2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical
3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/
Join the Vox Political Facebook page.
4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com
And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!
If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!
Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.
The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:
Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:
The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here: