AHF is encouraged by President Biden’s announcements regarding global vaccination but cautions dramatic, game changing action is required to vaccinate our world
WASHINGTON (September 22, 2021) AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) welcomes President Biden’s announced goal to vaccinate 70% of the world by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in 2022. This represents bold leadership and a goal that is laudable and will have the kind of impact necessary to ensure the world moves toward eradication of COVID-19.
Further, we are pleased by the President’s announcement of the donation of an additional 500 million doses at his COVID summit held on the sidelines of the UNGA and virtually. Clearly the President has stepped up and America is leading as it always has in moments such as this.
“However, if the Administration fails to treat this as the genuine emergency it is, the President’s goal of 70% will not be met,” said Michael Weinstein, president of AHF. “Vaccine donations and dose sharing will not alone work. Pfizer, Moderna and J & J need to share both the formula for the vaccination as well as the technology. The President has the authority to demand technology transfer and must.” (The presidential tech transfer authority comes under the Bayh-Dole Act)
Further, in October 2020, the governments of India and South Africa, with the support of 62 members of the World Trade Organization proposed a waiver of the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) which would temporarily waive intellectual property protections for technologies needed to “prevent, contain or treat COVID-19, including vaccines. This TRIPS waiver must be issued. It’s incredibly alarming this hasn’t happened thus far.
The United States people through their government provided billions in research funds to these companies to help develop the vaccines. It’s outrageous that they would now withhold the know how needed to ensure the success that the United States President expects by 2022.
Again, we are very encouraged by the President’s announced goal to vaccinate 70% of the world by 2022 and his announcement at the COVID summit today to contribute another 500 million but let us remember, of the 554 million doses promised to developing countries, only 16% have been delivered. Clearly current methodologies are not working and will not work without dramatic change.
History has shown that when the United States has decided to tackle something such as COVID for humanitarian reasons, we are able to do so. History has also illustrated that we are well aware that pandemics such as this are a direct threat to the global economy and our national security interests. We must look at COVID this way and call on the President to do that which is necessary to end this pandemic.
AHF remains ready to assist the Administration in its efforts as the organization is able and offers our facilities in 45 countries as sites at which shots can get into arms. We are committed to offer our resources as well as strongly advocate our positions.