September 8, 2023
Transparency International Global Health responds to landmark ‘secret contracts’ ruling
Responding to the COVID-19 ‘secrets contracts’ court verdict in South Africa, Jonathan Cushing, Director of Transparency International Global Health, said:
Transparency International Global Health congratulates South Africa’s Health Justice Initiative on its recent legal success in its campaign to secure the release of COVID-19 vaccine contracts.
The South African contracts show the arduous steps, along with restrictive and one-sided clauses, that had to be signed up to in order to access essential vaccines during a global health emergency. Such barriers arguably hampered access to vaccines, slowing the response to COVID-19, jeopardising the lives of millions of people.
South Africa was not alone. Despite the large amounts of public funding that was put up by governments around the world to develop vaccines, companies have been able to dictate the terms under which the public was given access.
Requests for contracts to be disclosed have repeatedly been blocked by governments around the world. The public has had little information on what was agreed. This impacts public trust and creates opportunities for misinformation.
Whilst welcoming the release of these contracts, Transparency International Global Health continues to call for:
- Governments around the world to proactively release contracts
- Greater provisions to be included in the WHO CA+ (Pandemic Accord) to ensure greater contract transparency in future global health emergencies
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