How Big Pharma and the UK Government are perpetuating vaccine apartheid


Join Zero Covid for an open online campaign call on Monday 21st at 6 pm to hear about how Big Pharma and the UK Government are perpetuating vaccine apartheid.

We will be joined by two experts on the subject:

  • Tim Bierley, pharma campaigner at Global Justice Now
  • Maurine Murenga, Lean on Me Foundation, Kenya

The global response to Covid-19 has been so unequal that some global south activists have called it ‘vaccine apartheid’. While those of us in the UK have been offered third and even fourth doses of the vaccine, across the whole of Africa only 11% are double jabbed.

This injustice is rooted in a colonial history that has devalued the lives of people in the global south over centuries. And it is reinforced by global economic rules designed to concentrate wealth and power in the hands of multinational corporations in the global north.

For the pharmaceutical industry, making massive amounts of money for their wealthy shareholders has long been more important than the lives of people in the global south. Twenty years ago, Big Pharma even sued Nelson Mandela’s government when it tried to import cheaper medicines because South Africa was unable to afford the astronomically-priced HIV drugs they needed during the AIDS.

Today, these companies are making record-breaking profits while most people in low-income countries still haven’t received a single jab. And the British government is blocking demands by countries in the global south to break the covid monopolies that maintain the stranglehold of large pharmaceutical corporations over these medicines.

In this vaccine apartheid, rich countries get prioritised access and everyone else must be grateful for the charity of their former colonisers. Join our Decolonise Vaccines online event to find out how covid monopolies help Big Pharma rake in record-breaking profits at the expense of people’s lives, how countries in the global south are fighting back against the profit-driven pharmaceutical system, and what we can do to transform health provision globally to dismantle colonial dynamics which date back centuries.

Organised by ZeroCovid