Vaccine privileges for the US?
The CEO of French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi, Paul Hudson, caused indignation by saying that if the company succeeds in creating an effective coronavirus vaccine the US will likely have first access because of its financial support for Sanofi's research. Although Hudson has since backed down, manufacturers and politicians alike are facing the question of health and fairness.
Health must not be a commodity
The pandemic can only be contained quickly if vaccines are made accessible to everyone, Mediapart urges:
“The Covid-19 crisis teaches us that there is an urgent need to stop seeing health as a commodity and instead see it as a common good. ... Smallpox was eradicated and the number of polio outbreaks significantly reduced thanks to massive free vaccination campaigns. In the case of measles, however, the vaccine is still under private patents, so the disease continues to rage. That is precisely the challenge: without international solidarity, without sharing of knowledge and medicines, the global fight against the coronavirus could face years of defeat.”
Please not the same drama as with masks
Pharmaceutical companies should resist the pressure from Washington, the Aargauer Zeitung urges:
“What happened with the protective masks must not be repeated with the vaccine: namely each country looking only after itself and blocking deliveries to those in need. Drug nationalism is the last thing the world needs now. ... With Lonza in Visp, Switzerland has a pharmaceutical company that is one of just a handful in the world that can produce vaccine doses in huge quantities. Now Lonza is coming under pressure from the US authorities. They want it to give them preferential treatment on supplies. It's fitting that Donald Trump appointed a member of Lonza's Board of Directors on Friday to lead his vaccination campaign. Lonza would do well to resist attempts to exert pressure. This is not about deals now. It's about making a contribution to the globally coordinated fight against the pandemic.”