Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 16 June 2021

G7 vaccine promises fall short

Make vaccine technology public, nationalise big-pharma

  (Click to enlarge)

Alex Smith, Liverpool Socialist Party

G7 leaders have pledged to donate 1 billion doses of coronavirus vaccine to poorer countries by the end of 2022. Boris Johnson's Tory government, for its part, has pledged 100 million doses.

The scale of these proposals does not rise to the level of an insult, and that is if they keep their promises!

World Health Organisation (WHO) research shows that it would take 11 billion doses - more than ten times what G7 leaders are proposing - to provide 70% of the world's adult population with two doses each. Even more vaccines would be required if countries begin vaccinating children as well. The head of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, stated bluntly: "We need more than that".

Despite the immediate need for vaccines, of the 100 million doses Johnson has pledged, his government intends to provide no more than five million by the end of September, 25 million by the end of 2021, and the remainder in 2022. This is in spite of the fact that the UK could donate 20% of its available vaccines right now and still hit its domestic targets!

Following the announcement of the G7 proposal, the WHO's director-general, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, reiterated that a waiver of the intellectual property rights underpinning vaccines is "essential" to achieve their target of vaccinating 70 per cent of the world's population by next year's G7 summit. He added: "The [pharma companies] should not be going for high profits."

Ghebreyesus' demand follows recent Oxfam research suggesting that developing countries could be vaccinated against Covid-19 at a cost of just £4.6 billion if pharmaceutical companies waive their intellectual property rights.

Estimates put the cost at ten times that amount without a waiver, with the extra money going straight into shareholders' pockets.

The chief executives of Moderna and BioNTech have reportedly increased their wealth by at least £4 billion each in 2020, despite the research and development of the vaccines being heavily state-subsidised.

It is precisely because patent monopolies are so profitable for pharma companies that waivers will not be yielded without a fight.

The current opposition of the British and German governments to the WHO's modest waiver demand demonstrates this, and shows how sick the capitalist system is.

Society has the resources, both financial and technological, to defeat the Covid-19 pandemic. But under capitalism these vast resources are owned by a tiny elite, and their profits are prioritised over people's health.

That's why it's vital that large pharmaceutical companies are nationalised under democratic worker's control, so that vaccine science can be shared with the primary purpose of helping people not making profit, and the production of vaccines can be democratically planned to meet the needs of all.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • We must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation


Your message: 


In The Socialist 16 June 2021:

Trade unions and workplace

Left candidate needed for Unite general secretary election

Majority of BFAWU members vote to break from Labour

Right lose control in Unison NEC election

Sparks win victory!

Engineers in fourth week of strike action against huge fire-and-rehire attacks

Leicester University workers strike against redundancies

PCS conference 2021: Divide between union leaders and rank-and-file exposed

Socialist Party to the fore at Unison LG conference

Redbridge school walkout over victimised union rep


Underpaid and overworked - NHS workers say: 'Enough is enough'

Now is the time to fight for the NHS

Save Leicester General Hospital

International news

Will Biden's new foreign policy change the direction of US imperialism?

Tamil Solidarity asylum victory

Who represents the Palestinians?

International solidarity protests


Make vaccine technology public, nationalise big-pharma

Schools need resources to tackle 'routine' sexual harassment

Neonatal leave introduced: Unions must fight for extensions and full pay

Beth Roper inquest: Train company failures ignored

Birmingham Clean Air Zone a tax on the poor

Johnson's G7 hypocrisy

Pandemic homeless

Campaigns and party news

Enfield byelection: We need councillors prepared to resist

Queues at Socialist Party stall in Cov

National finance meeting

Readers' opinion

Women's health matters

Books that inspired me: The Ragged-Trousered Philanthropists

Readers' comments


Home   |   The Socialist 16 June 2021   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook

Related links:


triangleEmployers use vaccine excuse to attack sick pay

triangleTory vaccine sacking threat set to deepen NHS staffing crisis

triangleTV review: Vaccine Wars: The Truth About Pfizer

triangleCovid-19: New variant emerges but same old capitalist disease

triangleTories responsible for NHS staff shortages


triangleFlexibility to suit workers not the bosses

triangleCryptocurrency bubble: Insanity of capitalism

triangleTechnology and AI response: Capitalists only invest for profit

triangleCan green technology and AI save capitalism?


triangleSocial care providers put profit before residents' needs - nationalise care now

triangleTories hand cash to private health profiteers

triangleEnergy price crisis: nationalise energy giants to save us from 600 hit


triangleNews in brief

triangleNo trust in Tories to keep us safe


triangleBritain's waterways choked with a 'chemical cocktail'


triangleUK Covid-19 mortality similar to Spanish Flu

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis


The Socialist

We need a workers' alternative to big business Tories and Labour



News in brief



Lords reject parts of anti-protest bill



Social care providers put profit before residents' needs - nationalise care now



Cost of living crisis



Want to fight austerity?



Tories hand cash to private health profiteers



Tory vaccine sacking threat set to deepen NHS staffing crisis



Tories on the ropes - Build a workers' alternative



No trust in Tories to keep us safe



Employers use vaccine excuse to attack sick pay



News in brief


Welfare state

Mutual aid, the welfare state and the fight for a new mass workers' party


Socialist Party

Pamphlet: What the Socialist Party stands for



Super-rich get richer, while we can't make ends meet. Join the fightback!

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: [email protected]

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 077 7221 5281

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 078 0983 9793



Alphabetical listing

January 2022