Letter | 21 January 2021 | Download PDF

Oxfam on behalf of the People’s Vaccine Alliance and Health Action International have written to the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) on the necessity of WHO being more transparent about its activities and proactive in regards to its leadership of and advocacy for the COVID-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP).

The letter identifies seven urgent recommendations for action from WHO.

Read the full letter below

Dear Dr. Tedros,

Greetings from Oxfam, on behalf of the People’s Vaccine Alliance, and Health Action International. We thank you for and recognize your continued leadership in responding to the pandemic and extend our solidarity to you and your teams.

Dr Tedros as you know civil society across the globe, together with a number of governments, has welcomed and has been supporting the objectives of the WHO’s Covid Technology Access Pool (C-TAP), as a mechanism to scale production, increase competition and speed the delivery of vaccines, therapeutics and other technologies.

However, we are concerned about the lack of political support and reported progress on C-TAP to date.

The current inequality in vaccination that you articulated so clearly at the opening of the WHO Executive Board reflects nationalism in purchasing vaccines but also the global shortages in vaccines. Maximizing production must be an aim for all global and national health policy leaders. C-TAP is a critical vehicle for achieving this now, and for meeting future needs for Covid19 and other emerging diseases.

We therefore request a response from you regarding the following urgent recommendations for action from WHO:

  • Provide clarification of the strategy for C-TAP, who is providing political leadership, and who is providing the necessary technical leadership with regards practical issues for the transfer of know-how and technology for manufacturing;
  • A commitment to bi-weekly public briefings to report on the progress of CTAP;
  • The publication of clear guidelines and model agreements that C-TAP is seeking regarding the sharing of rights in inventions, data, biologic resources and know-how, including specifically the components of full technology transfer that C-TAP is seeking for each relevant technology;
  • Require licensees to commit to obtaining WHO prequalification and regulatory authorizations and to the equitable pricing and distribution of products;
  • Commit to full transparency of all technology transfer agreements with rights holders and with licensees.
  • Publish a report on global manufacturing capacity for each relevant COVID-19 medical technology, including each type of COVID-19 vaccine, with commentary of the measures necessary to bring a facility into GMP compliance for production for specific vaccines and other COVID-19 health technologies.
  • Publish current financial support for C-TAP and required funding for the pool to operate speedily and effectively.

We have been advocating that governments, manufacturers and research institutions support the pool and will continue to do that, but the WHO needs to be more transparent about its activities and proactive as regards its leadership of and advocacy for C-TAP if it is to succeed.

We look forward to your response and would welcome the opportunity to speak directly with you on these matters if helpful.

Your sincerely,

Gabriela Bucher, Oxfam International Executive Director on behalf of the People’s Vaccine Alliance


Tim Reed, Executive Director, Health Action International