Protesters gather for global vaccine access Thursday

BOSTON — Scientists, activists, and community members rallied in Kendall Square in Cambridge, joining others in major cities in a day of action for global vaccine access.

Dr. Brook Baker of national nonprofit Health GAP says 70% of the world’s vaccine supply has gone to just ten countries, the richest, and many developing countries won’t complete their vaccine programs until 2024.

If that’s not a concern to you here in the Baystate, Dr. Baker says it should be.

”In the present pandemic, we know that new variants are developing. Each person that gets infected is a potential source of a new variant,“ says Baker.

Dr. Baker and Chris Noble of The Peoples Vaccine Alliance joined scientists, community members, and activists Thursday to march through Kendall Square and rally outside of Moderna’s Cambridge headquarters.

“That will increase our risk in the united states of new variants coming into circulation which can make even this round of vaccines not functional,“ says Noble.

It’s part of a global action day calling for the temporary suspension of intellectual property rights to the vaccine formula so more organizations can make it. Simultaneous rallies were planned in Washington D.C., New York, and Philadelphia.

“There could be entirely new vaccine options that could be available unless strict intellectual property rights get in the way of their development,“ says Noble.

Wednesday, the United States and others blocked a proposal by India and South Africa to temporarily waive patent enforcement on COVID-19 technologies after a request from the World Health Organization.

Meantime, Moderna announced this week that they opened up the first study for a modified COVID-19 to better deal with variants.

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