The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Joe Karp-Sawey, media manager
Tel: +44 (0)7711 875 345

Campaigners Call On Monkeypox Vaccine Company to Share Recipe and Scale Up Production

‘We cannot manage public health crises in this way’ says Global Justice Now, as UK is on verge of running out of vaccines, and Africa left without a single shot.


Campaigners from Global Justice Now, Just Treatment and Stop Aids have written to Bavarian Nordic, the sole supplier of the monkeypox vaccine currently being rolled out across North America and Europe, demanding that it openly share the know-how behind its vaccine with factories around the world.

Global Justice Now believes the Danish company's control of the vaccine is artificially limiting supplies which are desperately needed to prevent the disease from becoming endemic across large parts of the world. They note that the UK is likely to run out of doses in the next couple of weeks, while the whole African continent has not received a single dose.

The monkeypox vaccine known as Jynneos received substantial funding from the US government but, like most modern medicines, the drug's property rights are owned by a single company, which can decide who can produce the medicine and who can buy it. A similar situation with Covid-19 vaccines saw massive global inequality in distribution as a handful of multinational corporations controlled supply and sold the majority of doses to rich countries.

Bavarian Nordic expressed interest in producing a Covid-19 vaccine early in the pandemic but was unable to do so as none of the vaccine makers would share the rights or knowledge. The company has been hamstrung by the closure of part of its assembly line this year, limiting the supplies they could produce, while the overwhelming bulk of sales has been made to the US.

Nick Dearden, director of Global Justice Now, said:

"We cannot continue to manage public health crises like this. Effectively the health of people across the world is being subjugated to the profits of pharmaceutical companies. While this is a very different disease, in this important respect it's like Covid all over again.

"If we had any interest in the lives of people across the global south, this disease would never have become a wider problem. There are factories in the global south right now that are actively seeking orders for new vaccines. There is no excuse for not openly licensing this vaccine, and sharing the know-how. If the disease becomes endemic, people will die, and the responsibility will lie with this pharmaceutical system."

Global Justice Now is a democratic social justice organisation working as part of a global movement to challenge the powerful and create a more just and equal world. We mobilise people in the UK for change, and act in solidarity with those fighting injustice, particularly in the global south.

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