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Final ‘VOW’ Protest at European Commission to Urge G20 to ‘Vaccinate Our World’

Date

15 Oct 2021

Sections

Health & Consumers

Advocates to protest at European Commission (Schuman Roundabout) in Brussels to urge G20 and EU countries to use the Rome Summit to commit to real action on global COVID-19 vaccine access

Wednesday, October 20, 12:00-13:00 local time, Schuman Roundabout / Rond-point Schuman

BRUSSELS (October 18, 2021) In a final advocacy push leading up to the Rome G20 Summit later this month, activists will hold a demonstration at the Schuman Roundabout in front of the European Commission to urge leaders from European Union (EU) and G20 countries to utilize the Summit to commit to real action on global COVID-19 vaccine access. The protest is part of the global “Vaccinate Our World” (VOW) campaign led by AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) and is the final call-to-action in a series of European demonstrations recently held in Kyiv, Ukraine; The Hague, Netherlands; London, UK; and Tbilisi, Georgia.

Wealthy nations have drawn global criticism for hoarding vaccines and not urging pharmaceutical companies to share their know-how for the vaccine research and development funded primarily by taxpayers. As of early October, 3.6 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses had been administered globally, with 78% of those going to people in high- and upper-middle-income countries. Less than 7% of the 1.3 billion people on the African continent have received even one dose. The discrepancy is worse for low-income countries where less than 1% of people have gotten a shot.

“If we don't boost worldwide vaccine production and prioritise vaccinations for our global community, COVID-19 and effects from the pandemic will only get worse. It’s time that world leaders do the right thing and ensure vaccine access for the entire world, not just for a handful of wealthy countries,” said Michal Pawlega, Prevention and Testing Manager for AHF Europe. “If the G20 does not act now to ‘Vaccinate Our World’, vaccine-resistant variants will continue emerging, millions more will die, and lockdowns and economic crashes will continue indefinitely for the world’s most vulnerable populations. With this protest in Brussels, we’re going to put pressure on European Union leaders to keep worldwide vaccine access a priority at the G20 Summit!”

WHAT:

Vaccinate Our World” Protest and Call-to-Action

WHEN:

Wednesday, October 20 at 12:00-13:00 (CET)

WHERE:

Schuman Roundabout, Brussels

WHO:

Approximately 30 people, including community advocates, AHF staff and partners

NEWS DESK NOTE & VISUALS

There will be a standing protest on the square just opposite to the main gate to the International Court of Justice. Protesters in campaign t-shirts will have signs, banners, and plackets with the protest slogans. Coffins symbolizing those who died because of COVID held by people in skeleton suits and slogan shouts will accompany the event.

IN-MARKET MEDIA CONTACTS

Denys Nazarov, Director of Global Policy & Communication, AHF +1.323.308.1829

denys.nazarov@aidshealth.org

Anna Zakowicz, Europe Deputy Bureau Chief, AHF +31628744655
anna.zakowicz@ahf.org

 

“The ‘VOW’ demonstrations in Brussels this week and in other cities across Europe recently are vital for sending a wake-up call to EU and G20 leaders ahead of their Rome Summit – we will not sit idle while billions of people worldwide go without vaccines!” said AHF Europe Bureau Chief Zoya Shabarova. “Wealthy countries have secured enough vaccines for their citizens, some of which have enough to vaccinate their populations multiple times over. It’s now time for those leaders to pay it forward and show the same care and concern to people in Africa and other hard-hit regions struggling to get lifesaving vaccines and recover from the pandemic. Enough is enough – the G20 must Vaccinate Our World!”

‘VOW’ activists organized recent protests targeting the headquarters of U.S.-based COVID-19 vaccine makers Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson to demand that they halt their ‘pandemic profiteering’ and share their know-how and technologies to increase vaccine production globally. Other advocacy actions have included embassy visits in many countries where AHF operates and a ‘VOW’ protest in Brussels earlier this year targeting EU leaders.

Learn more by visiting VaccinateOurWorld.org, where you can pledge as an individual or as an organization to fight for vaccine access across the globe.

 

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