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Online discussion

Wednesday, 30. March 2022 2:00 pm – 3:15 pm Save in my calendar

Online discussion

Vaccine access two years into the pandemic

Still, no one is safe until everyone is safe

Watch the event recording.

Read our web dossier on EU-Africa relations in times of Covid-19.

The best hope for addressing the Covid-19 pandemic remains global immunisation through vaccination. However, more than a year after the start of the global vaccination campaign against the virus, vaccines are still very unevenly distributed. While in the European Union about 75% of the population have already received at least one vaccine dose, on the African continent only 19% have been jabbed. One reason for this is the high purchase prices for the vaccines, which make it impossible for many low-income countries to acquire sufficient vaccine doses on the free market. The COVAX initiative of the World Health Organisation has not yet been able to remedy this inequality.

As early as October 2020, the governments of South Africa and India therefore demanded a temporary suspension of patents (TRIPS Waiver) in order to be able to produce Covid-19 vaccines, medicine and tests locally. The European Commission and some EU member states, including Germany, have been critical of this demand, while the USA, which is also home to important producers of Covid-19 vaccines, has been open to it since mid-2021. In March 2022, a compromise was reached between the USA, the European Commission, India and South Africa, at least on the suspension of patents on vaccines. This compromise still has to be approved by the European Council.

During this event, experts and policy makers will discuss how an equitable international distribution of vaccines can be achieved and what role the EU plays in this.


Welcome by Eva van de Rakt, Director, Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung European Union, Brussels


  • Dr Ayoade Olatunbosun-Alakija, Co-Chair of the African Union Vaccine Delivery Alliance and WHO Special Envoy for the Access to Covid Tools Accelerator, London
  • Anna Cavazzini, Member of the European Parliament, The Greens/EFA Group, and Chair of European Parliament Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection, Brussels
  • Maria Martin-Prat De Abreu, Deputy Director-General, Directorate-General for Trade, European Commission, Brussels
  • Barbara Unmüßig, President, Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung, Berlin

Discussion moderated by Shada Islam, Founder, New Horizon Project, and Magazine Editor, EU Observer, Brussels


If you have any questions, please contact

Note: The technical requirements for participating in the event are a computer, tablet or smartphone with a speaker. Online events will be held using the Zoom software, which will provide a link for participating. The event will be recorded and published on our YouTube channel. On first using Zoom, this access link will initiate the download of the client software ("Zoom-launcher.exe"). This software must be executed or installed (recommended) on your computer. If you prefer not to download it, please click on the link "join via browser". Note: This option is only available for Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge. Please join the event a few minutes before its start time. After registering for an event, our privacy policy applies. The Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung is not liable for the Zoom software. The Zoom privacy policy is available here.

CEST (Berlin)
➽ Online Event
Heinrich Böll Stiftung Brussels - European Union