To the European Commission, the European Council, the European Parliament and national leaders. and Prime Minister Boris Johnson
We call on the European Union to make the COVID-19 vaccines and treatments accessible to everyone, everywhere. The EU should:
- Release all patents and licences of the anti-pandemic vaccines and treatments;
- Make public all contracts between public EU authorities and pharmaceutical companies;
- Ensure that vaccines and treatments are affordable and accessible for all.
Why is this important?
Captain Sir Tom Moore was 100 years old. He was knighted last year after raising £38.9 million for the NHS during the pandemic. He died on 2 February 2021, after testing positive for COVID-19. 
Since then it’s been hard to learn the names, faces and stories of those we have lost. Instead we are presented with numbers. Over 100,000 deaths in the UK. Hundreds of thousands more across Europe, and over 2 million worldwide. 
So as the vaccines fight continues, we watch companies like AstraZeneca hold way too much power on who gets them. It’s easy to forget what is at stake. A sister. A friend. A grandfather.
Vaccines are the single best chance of survival for millions. We need to be able to produce them more widely and we need them to be affordable to get out of this pandemic. The first step is to make the rights to produce the vaccines, the patents, public.
It’s possible to do, but standing up to big pharma and their profits is not easy. Charles Michel, President of the EU Council, has just joined the call of some MEPs for AstraZeneca’s patent to be made public.  Let’s make sure he puts his words into action.
- https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/cases-2019-ncov-eueea https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-52676411 https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-51235105
Image source; Tim Reckmann, Flickr, here.
Next week, EU leaders will decide whether to back a groundbreaking plan to unlock COVID-19 patents to boost global vaccine production and ensure all countries in Europe and beyond get fair access.
Ask Ursula von der Leyen to support this plan now!
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