About one week before Christmas I got my vaccine booster against Covid-19. I have to be honest: it feels good to know that I have once again as much protection against this disease as I can possibly get. But at the same time I feel sad. Vaccine producers like Pfizer and Moderna make billions by selling their product to the highest bidders, and those are the rich countries. When I received my third shot, less than 10% of the people in Africa had received their first shot. Sure, these companies are paying lip service to solidarity by building a few production facilities in Africa, but that takes time. The real solution would be to temporarily lift patents, so existing facilities in Africa and India could start local production right away. These facilities do exist! This is obscene, especially because the vaccines are based on a technology that was developed with public money, not their money. I think it’s even more obscene that the European Community is still opposing lifting patents, when even the ‘patent-crazy’ USA is now willing to lift them. I feel ashamed that I am a European.
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