The EIS has urged the Scottish Government to support the call for production of Coronavirus vaccines to be patent free worldwide.
EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan has written to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, following a decision by the national EIS Council to support the call for Coronavirus vaccines to be patent free.
In the letter, Mr Flanagan says, "The EIS believes that all people should have equality of access to an effective coronavirus (Covid-19) vaccine and that countries should be able to manufacture their vaccines during a pandemic."
The letter goes onto highlight that it has been estimated that more than 80% of the approximately 1.3 billion coronavirus vaccines administered worldwide to date have been used by high-income countries. The pandemic is now hitting countries such as India, South Africa and Mexico hard.
The number of vaccines given so far in Africa is a little more than one dose per person for some 2% of Africa’s 1.2 billion people.
Mr Flanagan’s letter goes on to say, "The EIS calls on the Scottish Government to support the calls for coronavirus vaccine production to be patent free worldwide. Such a policy to waive patents on Covid-19 vaccines is supported by a growing number of developing countries and now appears to be backed by the United States, China and Russia. Furthermore, the World Health Organisation and the United Nations AIDS charity, UNAIDS support such a waiver."
"With the G7 Summit coming later this week, the EIS believes that this is an opportune moment for the Scottish Government to add its voice to support coronavirus vaccine production to be patent free worldwide."