Activists championing vaccine equity for people worldwide as part of the ‘VOW: Vaccinate Our World’ call-to-action conducted massive advocacy events over the past several days. Actions culminated in a 100-person march in Ukraine and multifaceted protests in several Latin American countries to urge G20 and EU nations to waive patents on COVID-19 vaccines and greatly increase international cooperation to end the pandemic!
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AHF Argentina activists and partners utilized public landmarks in Buenos Aires to display ‘Vaccinate Our World’ data and images, which raised awareness about the importance of vaccine equity for health and economic stability worldwide. Organizers also simultaneously held a virtual press conference to field media questions about the current status of the vaccination rollout and how waiving patents means increased vaccine production globally.
In one of the more visually stunning and innovative endeavors of the VOW call-to-action, advocates from AHF Mexico and partner organizations conducted simultaneous protests outside of three vaccine manufacturers’ facilities to demand they share intellectual property for COVID-19 vaccines. For the primary activation, a giant “Greed Kills” graphic was projected onto a Pfizer building which drew the attention of numerous national and international media outlets.
More than 100 activists took to the streets in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv to march in front of the embassies of Germany, France, the United Kingdom, and European Commission representative offices. The initiative reached nearly 29 million people via social media and news outlets with the ‘VOW’ demand that European Union and other countries support the proposal to temporarily waive patents for COVID-19 vaccines.
Advocates from AHF Peru chanted as they marched with signs to Lima’s city center, where they organized a ‘VOW’-inspired flashmob. That effort coincided with displaying an animated short film on a large LED screen explaining the importance of suspending all COVID-19 vaccine patents. The actions drew public crowds that were encouraged to symbolically sign the giant ‘VOW’ call-to-action banner!
Actions in Guatemala spanned eight cities! A group of AHF advocates gathered at Guatemala City’s center and held a press conference, which was accompanied by a VOW-decorated bus that spread information city-wide about the importance of international cooperation for nations that have little vaccine access. Activists also delivered petition letters to the embassies of Germany and Sweden urging those respective governments to support the patent waiver.