Reaction to the First Minister backing the waiving of intellectual property rights on Covid vaccines

Dr. Ratnesh Kunwar, Scientist of Defence Research and Development Organization, passing through the sanitiser spray area after COVID ward rounds.

Jamie Livingstone, Head of Oxfam Scotland, welcomed the First Minister’s statement, in which she supported – for the first time – the temporary suspension of intellectual property rights for COVID vaccines and committed to personally urging the Prime Minister to end the UK Government’s opposition, saying:

“This is a vital intervention. The First Minister has personally led Scotland’s response to COVID-19, so her call today for the Prime Minister to stock blocking action to overturn the pharmaceutical monopolies that are artificially restricting vaccine supply must be acted upon.

“It’s not only morally shameful that six times more booster shots are being administered by rich countries daily than first doses in low-income countries; it’s an enormous risk to ending the pandemic globally.

“The emergence of Omicron should be a clear signal to the UK Government that we can’t just booster our way out of this pandemic while leaving Covid to run rampant across the rest of the world.

“The Prime Minister must now change course and listen to Nicola Sturgeon, listen to epidemiologists and listen to the US and 100 other governments who are already backing plans which would result in lifesaving vaccine recipes and know how being widely shared. A failure to act on these calls would be a dangerous dereliction of duty.”


For more information and interviews, please contact: Rebecca Lozza, Oxfam Media and Communications Adviser, Scotland and Wales: / 07917738450