“Our movement must challenge the rigged trade system as a whole that routinely prevents vaccines getting to those who need them.”Jeremy Corbyn MP
While many people in the UK have now had both vaccines, many poorer countries will have to wait years to protect their people. Some rich countries have acquired enough doses to vaccinate their entire populations nearly three times over, while experts suggest that nine out of ten people in poor countries will not receive a vaccine this year.
The longer this situation continues, the more the likelihood increases of more vaccine-resistant variants emerging and dragging the entire world frighteningly backwards.This is to say nothing of the economic impact; Oxfam calculates that the virus’ economic impact may push half a billion people into poverty.
Not only are richer countries hoarding vaccines; they are preventing poorer countries from producing their own. The United States now supports a waiver – albeit limited – of intellectual property law to allow all countries to produce vaccines. But the UK, the EU, and other major powers continue to block it.
Our movement must put pressure on them to change course, and to challenge the rigged trade system as a whole that routinely prevents vital products like medicines getting to those who need them.
This pandemic has compounded already existing crises of inequality. If we are to learn its lessons, we must campaign for a society that works for the many, not the few.
- Jeremy Corbyn’s Peace and Justice Project is running a Pandemic Solidarity campaign. You can find out more and sign up here: www.thecorbynproject.com/projects
- This article is part of Labour Outlook‘s special 8 page Summer Update produced for the June 26 demonstrations against the Tories. Read & download at https://labouroutlook.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Labour-Outlook-june-2021.pdf