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On February 1st, 2021, we launched the global campaign Vaccines Without Borders targeted at the CEO of Pfizer, asking him to enable other companies to produce its vaccine so that more lives can be saved.  


01. General context

Despite the unprecedented speed at which vaccines are being developed, there will not be enough vaccines to cover the world's population until 2023 or 2024

In addition, most of the available vaccines have been bought by wealthy nations. This vaccine nationalism leaves behind low and middle-income economies. As of mid-January, a small group of rich countries - comprising just 16% of the world's population - purchased 60% of the global vaccine supply.

There are of course great efforts being made to ensure a more fair and equitable distribution of vaccines, such as the COVAX scheme. However, the supply of vaccines is very limited and the success of the scheme relies on countries following up on their commitment to share their doses. 

But this doesn’t have to be the case. Vaccine companies, like Pfizer, cannot meet the global demand: this is why the whole world’s population won’t get access to the vaccines until 2023 or 2024. Considering the scale of the crisis we are in, we need to ensure that there is enough supply, as fast as possible, for all people. 

That’s why, why we, people of the world, are asking Pfizer to enable other companies to produce its vaccine so that more lives can be saved. 

Concretely, we need the licensing and technology transfer of the Pfizer vaccine to companies in low and lower-middle income countries, for the duration of the pandemic. Only through collaborative global efforts can we overcome the pandemic.

02. Why Pfizer? 

Other companies have taken some (although not enough) steps to ensure that we end the pandemic as quickly as possible. So we thought we would start there.

  • Moderna will not enforce our COVID-19 related patents against those making vaccines intended to combat the pandemic.
  • Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine will be sold to developing countries at cost price for most of 2021, on a not for profit basis.
  • Pfizer instead did not commit to any suspension of IP rights, and proactively opposed the WHO’s proposal for a voluntary pool of patents.

03. Previous efforts

In May 2020, we launched a week-long snap campaign called Health Workers First. This campaign asked the WHO to ensure that health workers across the world get priority access to future COVID-19 vaccines around the world.

Within the space of a short week, we gathered thousands of signatures, built a strong coalition of influential health workers, partnered with leading organizations, and were featured in international media. People from the world stood by those risking everything to protect the world. They said it loudly, they said it proudly: put Health Workers First. Thanks to this, we got an answer from the Director-General of the World Health Organization thanking us for our campaign.