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Australia must back vaccine patent waiver: Greens

The Greens have reiterated their calls for Australia to support a global vaccine patent waiver, supported by more than 100 countries, ahead of a critical World Trade Organization council meeting on Friday.

Senator Mehreen Faruqi, International Aid and Development spokesperson, said:

“This is a matter of global justice and responsibility. It is morally bankrupt for Australia to give anything other than full-throated support for the patent waiver.

"Rich, western countries banding together to hoard vaccines and deny them to poorer countries where thousands are dying daily is white supremacy, plain and simple."

“It’s well overdue for the government to come out with a clear position in support of the waiver.

“The lives and health of billions of people matter far more than the profits of big pharmaceutical companies.

“The Greens stand with the hundreds of Australian health professionals who have this week come out in support of the patent waiver.”

Senator Rachel Siewert, Health spokesperson, said:

“The Australian Government is enabling vaccine apartheid in not supporting a proposal to the World Trade Organisation to waive intellectual property rights to allow Covid-19 vaccine production to be rolled out and made accessible and affordable to everyone in the global community.

“The Australian Government has to act immediately on this issue, they have been dragging their feet far too long on it.

"The Government needs to play a role in ensuring big pharma moves to temporarily waive intellectual property rights on Covid-19 vaccines to facilitate universal access.

"Covid-19 vaccines should be seen as a public good, not a commodity.

"Australia has a global responsibility to ensure lower GDP nations get adequate and timely access to vaccines.

"It’s very clear that none of us are safe, until we are all safe."

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