Pandemic to be prolonged if vaccine knowledge not shared, says report

Six pharmaceutical plants in Ireland capable of producing vaccines if given knowldge, report states

A new report has warned that if pharmaceutical companies do not begin to share their vaccine knowledge and data, the pandemic will be prolonged and developing nations will be worst affected.

The report from the Oireachtas Foreign Affairs committee also stated that there are a number of pharmaceutical plants in Ireland capable of producing Covid-19 vaccines, if they were given the knowledge and instructions to do so.

The Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence launched their report on the distribution of Covid-19 vaccines to developing countries on Thursday, urging the Government to ensure a global equitable supply.

The report said the Government should formally endorse the WHO’s Covid-Technology Access Pool (C-Tap) initiative.


This would see private companies sharing vaccine-related intellectual property rights, technology and know-how.

This would allow different companies in other countries to produce their own vaccines, therefore increasing vaccine manufacturing capacity globally.

Currently, companies join C-Tap voluntarily and are not obliged to join the initiative.

The report comes after Dr Mike Ryan, the WHO executive director of emergencies, said Ireland and other wealthy nations should not be vaccinating young, healthy people before healthcare workers and more vulnerable people in developing nations.

Mandatory measures

However, the report said that if companies do not offer sufficient voluntary support, mandatory measures such as suspending intellectual property rights under a World Trade Organisation waiver proposal will be needed, and the Irish Government should support this.

The report also said that Covax, an advance purchase scheme organised by the WHO which allows developing nations to buy vaccines for a low price, is under threat.

The report warned that there are not enough vaccines available for Covax to work, and companies need to start sharing their data to increase supply.

“Competition among the most developed countries runs the risk that the virus will be left to ravage developing countries,” the report stated. “This also entails the risk of further strains emerging and threatens the efficacy of vaccines.”