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LETTER: Equal access for vaccine

Reuters file

I get it that every country wants to ensure that their citizens get first crack at a COVID-19 vaccine. But, what about caring that billions of less fortunate people around the world won't have equal access? The refugees time-locked in camps, people in conflict zones, the millions more in poorer developing countries? Are their lives not as valued as ours, we who are merely by accident of birth being born in wealthy developed countries? And what about the potential for even more violent world unrest as people in those environments seek safer countries as they flee conflict, starvation, disease, extreme poverty and now potentially no access to pandemic vaccines?

I am referring to the recent action by Canada the U.S., the European Union, Britain and Australia to block a motion made by the WTO that would waive Big Pharmas' patent protection known as "intellectual rights" on COVID-19 vaccines. A patent or intellectual rights as described in trade deals allows Big Pharma to control who gets the vaccine and when, as well as how much they can charge.

This when Big Pharma has received unprecedented amounts of taxpayers' [public] monies to develop a COVID-19 vaccine. Surely Canadians don't want to help Big Pharma put profits before the lives of billions of people in poorer parts of the world. Seems like our government is doing just that!

Edith Perry,

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