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Call for Better Global Vaccine Access

Tuesday December 14 2021

Churches and faith-based organisations from around the world united yesterday to call on the World Trade Organization (WTO) to help increase access to Covid-19 vaccines and treatments in poorer countries.

A letter signed by 115 organisations representing five faith traditions, including the World Council of Churches (of which the Church of Scotland is a member) calls on WTO member countries to act before the year’s end to waive Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights rules for Covid vaccines, which would remove a barrier to widespread manufacture of the vaccines at a cost more affordable to lower-income countries.

“Waiving intellectual property rights for COVID-19 vaccines should be treated as an urgent matter,” reads the letter. “Our lives are intertwined. Making COVID-19 vaccines accessible to all should be regarded as part of a race to save all of humanity.”

The letter notes that this is the humane and moral step to take without further delay.

“Additionally, we call urgent distribution of the new COVID-19 medication and other diagnostics tools worldwide,” it continues. “There is no reason to delay acting immediately.”

Read the full letter and list of signatories here.

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