Important questions about vaccine apartheid
There are reports indicating that health workers in different African countries were compulsorily submitted to Johnson & Johnson vaccine trials, violating their right to bodily autonomy and basic principles of public health.
This is an issue that has a stark gender aspect when one considers how the majority of health workers are women.
Another critical issue is how the same countries that hosted these trials have received less doses than high-income countries. South Africa, for example, involved half a million of its health workers in J&J Phase 3 clinical trials and is far from having enough doses to control the pandemic, with only 23% of its population fully vaccinated.
To put it simply, middle and low-income countries have been used as guinea pigs and haven't benefited from taking the risk.
This inequality is deepened when we realise that there are fewer Africans vaccinated with the first dose than people in rich countries with a third, booster dose.
When rich countries block the TRIPS waiver, they are reaping all of the benefits of scientific research that depended on other countries for themselves.
On the 16 days of activism for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, the #Fem4PeoplesVaccine campaign has partnered with the International Network to End Violence Against Women and Girls (#INEVAWG) to ask some important questions.