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23 July, 2021 05:34:05 PM / LAST MODIFIED: 23 July, 2021 10:55:24 PM
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Prof Yunus renews call for ensuring vaccine equality breaking profit wall

UNB, Dhaka
Prof Yunus renews call for ensuring vaccine equality breaking profit wall

Nobel Laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus has reiterated call for ensuring vaccine equality around the world noting that all the people need to be safe breaking the wall of profit.

“We’re talking much to make the vaccine patent-free. We’re working to get the patent out of the vaccine because the vaccine is a wall of profit and the wall of profit makes it tough for people to get the vaccine,” said Prof Yunus.

He made the remarks when asked about what he expects from the international community to ensure vaccines for all in a recent media briefing mentioning that they have been working for more than a year to ensure vaccine equality around the world.

Prof Yunus is all set to receive the Olympic Laurel as only the second person in history when the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics takes place on Friday.

“Bangladesh will be so proud of this award because Bangladesh is a country that doesn’t get close to an Olympic medal. But they have a cause for a celebration now. The whole world will watch a Bangladeshi receiving an Olympic award which will make every single person of Bangladesh proud of it. I believe it’ll be something that Bangladesh will remember for long,” said Prof Yunus during a virtual press meet.

The distinction was created by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to honour outstanding individuals for their achievements in education, culture, development and peace through sport.

Prof Yunus is also the recipient of numerous international awards for his ideas and endeavours and is a member of the board of the United Nations Foundation.

In 2006, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for founding Grameen Bank, which pioneered the concepts of microcredit and microfinance for people living in poverty.

The first-ever Olympic Laurel was awarded to the Kenyan Olympian and social changemaker Kip Keino on 5 August 2016, during the Opening Ceremony of the Games of the XXXI Olympiad in Rio de Janeiro.

Initiated for Rio 2016, the Olympic Laurel is to be awarded at the opening ceremony of each summer edition of the Olympic Games.

Talking further about the profit wall, Prof Yunus said, “Unless you break this wall or throw it away, vaccines cannot flow in the direction of people. There’s a lot of capacity in the world to produce vaccines. The patent wall doesn’t allow that to happen.”

He said the profit world is so stubborn and some people want to make a profit like they did last year. “Three top pharmaceutical companies have made 26 billion dollars in profit collectively out of vaccines so far."

“They’ll make more, and more pharmaceutical companies will also join them. So, the thing is now profit vs life. People are dying and some people are trying to protect vaccines for their purposes. We said break that, otherwise, it (vaccine equality) won’t happen. We only got a fraction of the world population vaccinated to date,” Prof Yunus added.

Only a fraction of the world population got inoculated so far. As of today, roughly four per cent of the population of Bangladesh got vaccinated.

Prof Yunus said if the speed of the vaccination remains the same; it’ll take more than 57 years to vaccinate all the people of the world.

He finds it as an achievement in Bangladesh in terms of vaccination so far. “It’s also an achievement in a way.”

Prof Yunus started a campaign last June asking the international community to make the vaccine patent-free global common good.

Many Nobel laureates, world leaders, and politicians signed it to publicize more widely. The president of the International Olympic Committee also signed it as one of the first persons.

MH

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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