For Immediate Release – 27.07.20 Carnival March to London for Free the Vaccine for Covid 19

Embargoed: Monday 27th July, 6am.

Free the Vaccine for Covid 19, a global collective of artists, activists and taxpayers, call on the UK scientific community to sign the Open Covid Pledge to ensure that any Covid19 vaccine or treatment developed will be made available and affordable for all.

Today we take our costumed Carnival March to London universities, to call for universities to use their record amounts of public funding to help guarantee a People’s Vaccine. Listen to the interview on Newsday on BBC Sounds here

Millions of pounds from UK tax-payers has been invested in research into vaccines, treatments and diagnostics, but there is little transparency about how that publicly funded research will be used when it goes to pharmaceutical manufacturers. Who will get the lifesaving shots and who will not?

We don’t want profits being made from this pandemic, we want a People’s Vaccine, available to the world,” says medical student Rebecca Hotchkin.

Right now rich governments are buying up vaccines as fast as they can, competing against each other – even before the vaccines are developed – in order to protect their own populations.

Vaccine nationalism will leave billions of people living in poor countries at the back of the queue, their governments unable to compete in resources to buy up the vaccines in advance. Billions denied a shot at life. 

That’s why we are demanding that all British research institutions, funded by our taxes, and involved in Covid19 research, must sign up now to the Open Covid Pledge so that new vaccines can be made available for global production free of charge for use in ending the COVID-19 pandemic and minimizing the impact of the disease.

Our universities are doing life-saving research. We want them to sign the Open Covid Pledge, to guarantee that their work will help protect everyone,” says medical student Ayesha Khan, “History tells us that when the drug companies step in, poor people lose out.”   

By signing the Open Covid Pledge, signatories agree to make the intellectual property on their products available free of charge for use in ending the Covid-19 pandemic.   

Now more than ever, people come before profits.  We won’t let private companies profiteer from our tax-payers money while people are denied access to the vaccines, tests and medicines they need to stay alive.

We protest today because we have hope that British scientists will put the fruits of their magnificent publicly funded work at the service of humanity and not the shareholders of private pharmaceutical companies.

Free the Vaccine for Covid 19! 

Media enquiries for interviews and more information: +44 7391 681182 or +44 7507 702053 UK@FreetheVaccine.Org

Route Map. Social distancing will be observed, including restricting numbers to under 30, using megaphones rather than shouting, and lip synching rather than singing!

A preview of one the carnival costumes…

Free the Vaccine for Covid 19 is a global movement to ensure publicly-funded diagnostic tools, treatment, and the COVID-19 vaccine will be sustainably priced, available to all and free at the point-of-delivery. The campaign was initiated by two non-profit organizations; Universities Allied for Essential Medicines and the Center for Artistic Activism.

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