WTO decides: no TRIPS waiver

Trade delegates and WTO Secretariat celebrate package of documents issued at the end of the Ministerial Conference, yet outlook for Global South remains bleak

Peoples Health Dispatch | June 17, 2022

Activists stage a “die-in” action at the WTO Ministerial Conference to protest the lack of TRIPS waiver (Photo: Our World is Not for Sale

The WTO announced on June 17 that it had reached an agreement on the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) waiver. The deal has been criticized by people’s movements around the world as the WTO decidedly rejected the demand by health activists for a full TRIPS waiver.

The ministerial decision on the TRIPS agreement, spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic, was announced in the early morning in Geneva on June 17, almost two days after the expected end of the 12th Ministerial Conference. Although the decision was hailed by the WTO Secretariat and officials from the Global North as an unprecedented result, in practice it falls short of meeting the bare minimum of the world’s needs.

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China, Cuba Present Jointly-Produced ‘Pan-Corona Vaccine’

teleSUR | June 03, 2022

Cuba and China present the first patent for the Pancorona vaccine, result of the collaboration between both countries in the biotechnological field. | Photo: Twitter @EmbacubaChina

Cuba managed to develop five COVID-19 vaccines and inoculated 95% of its population against the COVID-19 virus, despite the burden of the U.S. blockade. China, likewise, produced a massive amount of two different vaccines for its 1.4 billion-strong population and much of the Third World.


Cuba and the People’s Republic of China jointly filed the first patent for a vaccine against  COVID-19 and its many variants, which could also be effective against several related viruses, the Cuban daily Granma reported on Thursday.

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Cuba Donates Thousands of Doses of Soberana 02 Vaccine to Sahrawi People

Orinoco Tribune | March 03, 2022

This Friday, Cuba donated a batch of 458,000 doses of its Soberana 02 COVID-19 vaccine to the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), destined for the pediatric population of that country.

The African nation’s ambassador accredited in Havana, Mohamed Salec Abdesamad, praised the gesture on behalf of his people and government at a ceremony held at the Finlay Institute of Vaccines (IFV), creator of the immunogen, in Cuba’s capital.

The diplomat thanked Cuba’s President Miguel Díaz-Canel and all of Cuba, on behalf of the president of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic and the Secretary General of the Polisario Front, Brahim Gali.

Mohamed Salec Abdesamad assured that the doses will benefit the refugee population and residents in liberated territories.

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Cuba to distribute 200 million doses of its homegrown Covid vaccine to poor countries

by Steve Sweeny

Morning Star | January 26, 2022

Cuban plans to distribute 200 million doses of its homegrown Covid vaccine to lower-income countries were said to have reached a “historic turning point” on Tuesday.

David Adler, who headed a Progressive International delegation to the socialist island, said the “lifesaving package” was an example of vaccine internationalism that saw public health “placed above private profit and petty nationalism.”

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Cuba shows an alternative to Big Pharma hegemony through global solidarity

Cuba puts people before profits – showing the world an alternative to the monopolistic practices of Big Pharma. It promotes a public health system, state-funded research and shows global solidarity through tech transfer and vaccine delivery to developing countries

peoples dispatch | January 10, 2022

In yet another success story from Cuba, the country has fully vaccinated more than 85% of its population, and another 7% have got their single dose. This is more than most other developed countries, including the United States. And this is despite the six decades-long trade embargo that the US has imposed on the small developing country.

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Cuba Works on Vaccines Against New COVID-19 Variant

teleSUR | December 02, 2021

Cuban scientists working in the development of vaccines, Cuba, 2021
Cuban scientists working in the development of vaccines, Cuba, 2021 | Photo: EFE

BioCubaFarma announced on Wednesday that Cuban scientists are now working to develop new vaccines to fight the new strain of Coronavirus.

Eduardo Martinez, president of BioCubaFarma, announced on Wednesday, Dec. 1, that Cuban scientists are working to develop a new variant of vaccines to strike strains like Omicron of the Coronavirus.

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Omicron Spotlights Real Danger Of Global Vaccine Inequality

teleSUR | December 03, 2021

A health worker takes swab samples of travelers for COVID-19 nucleic testing outside a train station, Bangalore, India, Nov. 27, 2021.
A health worker takes swab samples of travelers for COVID-19 nucleic testing outside a train station, Bangalore, India, Nov. 27, 2021. | Photo: Xinhua

At the September COVID-19 Summit hosted by President Biden, a December target of 40-percent vaccination was set for the 92 poorest countries. Currently, there is little chance of this target being met in at least 82 of them.

As new COVID-19 variant Omicron makes its way to more countries, and has renewed concerns about its health impacts, experts have warned that its emergence is a stark reminder of the real danger of global vaccine inequality.

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How can scientists update coronavirus vaccines for omicron? A microbiologist answers 5 questions about how Moderna and Pfizer could rapidly adjust mRNA vaccines

Deborah Fuller

The Conversation | December 03, 2021

If the omicron variant of the coronavirus is different enough from the original variant, it’s possible that existing vaccines won’t be as effective as they have been. If so, it’s likely that companies will need to update their vaccines to better fight omicron. Deborah Fuller is a microbiologist who has been studying mRNA and DNA vaccines for over two decades. Here she explains why vaccines might need to be updated and what that process would look like.

1. Why might vaccines need to be updated?

Basically, it’s a question of whether a virus has changed enough so that antibodies created by the original vaccine are no longer able to recognize and fend off the new mutated variant.

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A socialist reply to ‘leftwing’ antivax disinformation

Antivaxxers of all stripes are a threat to public health

Cliff Conner

Climate and Capitalism | November 29, 2021

Cliff Connor is the author of A People’s History of Science and The Tragedy of American Science. This article was first published in Against the Current.

In the United States, most of the Covid antivax agitation comes from rightwing sources. It is dangerous and reprehensible because it threatens legitimate public health efforts to bring a pandemic under control that has already killed at least 750,000 people in the U.S. and five million worldwide. The rightwing ideologues who carry out this campaign of disinformation are simply unconscionable scoundrels.

Unfortunately, they have “leftwing” ideological allies who devise rationales designed to appeal to progressive-minded people. A blog post entitled “The Snake-Oil Salesmen and the COVID-Zero Con: A Classic Bait-And-Switch for a Lifetime of Booster Shots (Immunity as a Service)” provides a prime example.

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