Monday, 15. March 2021

Suspension of Vaccine Patents for the Period of the Pandemic

Mission societies call for fair distribution of vaccines

The heads of ten mission societies in the Association of Protestant Churches and Missions in Germany (EMW) are campaigning for a suspension of patent rights on the vaccines needed to combat the pandemic. In negotiations with the WTO, they are calling on the German government and the European Union to insist on a fair distribution of vaccines.

“We cannot accept such an unjust distribution of vaccines at the expense of the poor,” say the heads of mission societies whose partners in the South are severely affected by this injustice.

With great concern, the societies are observing the situation in the countries of their partner and member churches in the Pacific, Asia, Africa and Latin America where primary healthcare is unable to stop the effects of the virus. The patents registered by industrialised nations place the countries in these regions at a major disadvantage when purchasing on the world market. After their joint negotiations, the heads fear that under the given circumstances, it could take up to two years before sufficient vaccinations can be carried out in all the countries of the Global South to stop the pandemic.

EMW Director Rainer Kiefer emphasises that “Thousands of people will die from the disease as well as from the restrictions in connection with worldwide lockdowns as this situation will magnify the effects of poverty and hunger.” Kiefer says that this demand made by the representatives of the mission societies is intended to further intensify all worldwide calls for a just distribution of the life-sustaining vaccines.

Press contact: Regina Karasch-Böttcher,, Tel. +49 711 636 78 85, Mobile +49 178 6200052
Information: Dr. Dieter Heidtmann,, Tel. +49 711 636 78 21, Mobile +49 1520 8607600


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