G20 Health Ministers support voluntary technology transfers to increase COVID-19 vaccines production capacities worldwide
7 September 2021
Geneva – In a joint declaration published on 6 September 2021, the G20 Health Ministers gathered in Rome, Italy reaffirmed their commitment to global solidarity, equity, and a multilateral approach towards ending the COVID-19 pandemic and strengthening the global pandemic preparedness mechanisms.
While supporting the global goal to vaccinate at least 40% of the population by the end of 2021, they highlighted the urgent need to share more doses and strengthen local and regional manufacturing capacity. The G20 Health Ministers reaffirmed their support to the work of key partners, including “WHO, Unitaid and the Medicines Patent Pool to facilitate voluntary technology transfers on mutually agreed terms, market shaping and increase local production capacities worldwide […]” (7).
“The current inequity in access to vaccines is behind the wave of death impacting hardest low- and middle-income countries,” said Charles Gore, Executive Director of the Medicines Patent Pool. “To address the global imbalance of manufacturing capacity for COVID-19 vaccines, MPP is working with many partners, including WHO on establishing the South African mRNA technology transfer hub that will allow for greater and more diversified vaccines manufacturing capability. We hope it will also contribute to strengthening African regional health security and respond more equitably to the current COVID-19 pandemic and future pandemics at global level.”
In their declaration, the G20 Health Ministers also recognised that non-communicable diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease, and diabetes may increase the risk of severity and death from COVID-19.