I held a solo protest against vaccine patents at Davos – here’s why we all need to speak out.

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VARESE, 9 giugno 2022-I stood and protested alone in Davos to represent the millions still without COVID-19 vaccines, and African countries who’ve been denied access to produce vaccines for ourselves. 

I’m a 51-year-old nurse from Liberia and a father of two. I never expected myself to be here, but I have seen Ebola and now COVID-19 ravage my country, and needless deaths when the technology to save lives exists.

The world clapped for us health workers, yet over 180,000 of us have died in this crisis. I wanted to turn this applause on its head by clapping for the cynical winners of this pandemic — the pharma companies who are making billions by monopolizing knowledge at the expense of human lives.

Pfizer, BioNTech, and Moderna make $1,000 profit every second while the world’s poorest remain unvaccinated. Billions in public funding was given to develop these vaccines but companies have guarded the vaccine recipes and then sold the majority of their stocks to rich countries at high prices.

Over 100 countries are calling for an intellectual property waiver on COVID-19 vaccines, tests, and treatments to make sure there is fair supply and access for all. The World Health Organization, Doctors Without Borders, and my union federation Public Services International all support it.

This week, leaders are meeting to decide a way forward. It’s a huge moment to put pressure on the governments blocking the waiver. Will you join me in taking action today?

In solidarity,

George Poe Williams, Nurse, Vaccines Access Activist

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