This is how we can counteract vaccine nationalism

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, national governments have been scrambling to secure treatments and vaccines that are currently in development. These efforts, being dubbed the relatively new term ‘vaccine nationalism’, will ultimately hamper equitable access to much needed COVID-19 technologies. Countries should rather embrace a Technology Access Pool (C-TAP), says global health advocate Tom Buis in his new article in MBt magazine.

Creating a pooling mechanism of knowledge, patents and knowhow is the best answer to growing vaccine nationalism and monopolies of life-saving medical technologies.  The government of Costa Rica was the first to suggest such a pooling mechanism, i.e. a global database. In an open letter to the WHO the Costa Rican government suggested to create a voluntary pooling mechanism – in line with the Medicines Patent Pool – for COVID-19-related knowledge, knowhow and intellectual property. The initiative prompted NGOs in various WHO member states to call upon their governments to support this call by Costa Rica. In the Netherlands, Wemos gathered support of many Dutch NGOs and public health experts from academia.

Global health advocate Tom Buis: “It is great to see that the Dutch government is supporting C-TAP. Now it is time for the Dutch government, and others who support C-TAP, to take the next step and to condition public funding of public and private actors, to contribute to the pooling of COVID-19-related technologies. Universities that receive public funding for COVID-19-related research should share their data knowledge and IP with the COVID-19 Technology Access Pool. Regional or national initiatives focused on gaining preferential access are not the way forward. I believe C-TAP is currently the best framework we have in ensuring that everyone, everywhere has access to COVID-19 treatments and vaccines.”

Read the full article here

Read more about our work on COVID-19 and on medicines

Photo: Bao_5 via Pixabay

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent News items

New HSAP video: this is why strong health systems matter


The COVID-19 pandemic has shown what happens when countries’ health systems are unable to keep up with their populations’ public health needs. Malfunctioning, weak health systems need to be strengthened into responsive, well-functioning, properly staffed and sustainably financed systems. Not only for acute public health crises – but also to achieve access to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) for everybody, everywhere. With our partners in the Health Systems Advocacy Partnership (HSAP), we have made a video that explains this interconnectedness and emphasises that strong health systems should be a political priority.

Continue reading

Analysis and policy recommendations on the accountability at the EMA


Since the COVID-19 crisis has started, we have seen governments pressuring their own regulatory agencies to speed up the process of marketing authorisation. To make sure that this marketing authorisation process is done independently and transparently, the concept of accountability is key. Over the last year Wemos has conducted a qualitative analysis on the concept of accountability at the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the perception hereof for different stakeholders in the process of marketing authorisation. Additionally, Wemos has looked into the risk of bias in Pre-Submission Activities (PSAs). This analysis lead to several policy recommendations in order to improve EMA’s accountability and to have better safeguards regarding risk of bias in PSAs.

Continue reading