To: Boris Johnson, prime minister

Tell Boris Johnson: back calls to suspend vaccine patents

Dear Prime Minister,

Covid-19 has wreaked havoc across the world. The death toll continues to rise and health services are crumbling under the pressure.

This is a global crisis, and none of us are safe until everyone is.

Thanks to largely publicly funded research, we now have a number of extremely successful vaccines developed at record speed. But at the moment, dozens of countries have not had the chance to even begin vaccinating their population.

The World Trade Organisation governs the rules under which the vaccines have been patented. South Africa and India initially proposed a temporary waiver of intellectual property rights over the vaccines to ensure countries across the world can scale up production and get ahead of the virus.

Now the US has made an unprecedented move to back the proposal. But other rich countries, including the UK and the EU, are still blocking it.

Supporting the waiver proposal is the right thing to do. It is also the sensible thing to do - we have seen the virus spread and mutate, forcing countries into continuous lockdowns, shutting businesses, and destroying lives and livelihoods.

We therefore call on the UK Government to support the TRIPS Waiver proposal and to urge the European Union, Japan and Australia to do the same ahead of crucial meetings this month.

Yours Sincerely,

The Undersigned

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