At an Independent Sage briefing on Friday, we heard from Global Justice Now, an NGO that has been leading calls for a “people’s vaccine” approach. This would enable the production of open-licence Covid-19 vaccines that are available to everyone, everywhere, regardless of income, status, or background.
Vaccine production is not currently being limited by patents. Rather, by knowledge of how to make the vaccines and the equipment to do so. Malawi – just to take an example at random – does not have the ability to produce vaccines. Thus patents are not the limitation upon vaccine production in Malawi.
But there’s a better guide to nutterdom.
If you’re allying with Global Justice Now then you’re a nutter. Simples.
There was a good Trade Talks podcast on this subject. Most countries have laws that allow them to negate patents and produce what they want. Furthermore AZ and Pfizer have both said they would license anywhere in the world.
The problem is technology transfer – people who can do it being in short supply. Its difficult even to companies that produce vaccines let alone countries and companies that have never produced them.
What BiND sez…
Making that stuff at scale is hard. And even at lab scale definitely not cheap. And highly specialised work. And…
Truly utter nutters…
BiND an easy way to assess the scale of the problem would be to list the number of DNA printers outside the G8 +China. Without a source of DNA, you cannot start the process
Those demanding this have no concept of what is involved. For them it is about “the feels”, the kudos and the six figure salaries that they will grant themselves as the “Worldwide Committee for the Control of Vaccines for the People”
The real limiting factor is unbroken, cold supply chain. The Pfizer vax needs -80C for example from factory to site of use. This requires special refrigeration equipment. It is difficult enough in developed Countries, non-developed Countries do not have/cannot afford the infrastructure.
It also requires a sophisticated appointment system, adequate personnel to administer vaccines and the ability of people to get to a vaccine centre… many don’t have cars nor have access to public transport… because the vaccines once thawed have a very narrow window of use.
+1 with knobs on.
AZ has found it too difficult to transfer know-how from the UK to the Netherlands, hence Ursula’s hysterics about supply failure when AZ followed the terms that her team dictated on production within the EU.
I should like to say that GJN don’t know what they are talking about (the alternative is worse).
I take issue with WHO demands for “equitable” (for some definition of equitable) sharing of vaccines because *the worst death rates per million are all in Europe* [except perhaps for Mexico and Iran whose data is reported to be massively dodgy, but even including them Europe would take 12 out of the 14 places for those countries doing worse than the USA]
A lot of Third World countries have the requisite raw materials, though. Lots of monkeys in these countries.
John77, I was looking at the stats for covid deaths the other day. First ‘Asian’ country (apols for 1970’s Comprehensive School CSE Geography)= Indonesia, at No.80. China was 147. Almost as if this virus was (if it exists*), engineered to duff up non Asian types.
*Southern calif. lab tested 1500 ‘positive’ covid tests with a scanning electron microscope. No covid. Zero. Lots of Influenza A and some Influenza B though………
An open license doesn’t make stuff available “regardless of income”. Controlling the end-user price makes stuff available regardless of income. Any qualified person can choose to become a doctor, doctorin’ is “open license”, but a doctor still costs 60 grand plus. It’s that fact that somebody else pays that makes it available regardless of income.
Do groups like Global Justice Now ask the Chinese or Russians for access to their vaccines, or is it only the West that gets badgered?
Not just developing countries, there’s a bit of a fuss in Canada that they can’t produce vaccines as the previous govt sold off or closed the last plant capable of doing so. Suddenly a lot of talk about not relying on the US for everything etc.
That’s just the current gaggle of incompetents trying to deflect blame for their (dismal) performance. Connaught Laboratories was sold to Sanofi, but continued to operate and produce vaccines in Canada.
“Almost as if this virus was (if it exists*), engineered to duff up non Asian types.”
Well they did a very poor job because the crap has the killing power of a bad flu at worst. Some bio-engineered weapon. The real bio-eng weapons are the conniving brains of the world’s political shite.
As for who can and cant make lie juice–yawn.
I was lucky enough to be allowed to drop geography a year before taking ‘O’ levels so my understanding of Asia may be out of date, but I think the worst-hit country in Asia is Armenia @ 1312/million deaths. That’s still well below most European countries and less than half Gibraltar’s 2791/million.
You may well say that Armenians aren’t what most people call “Asiatic”.
However I doubt that China has developed its biological warfare ability far enough to create diseases targeted at “non-Asiatics”: the data also shows almost trivial impacts on African countries, but higher death rates for those of African descent in America, relatively trivial death rates in Bangladesh but high death rates for Bangladeshis in the UK. Temperature seems more generally significant than race.