Live Web Event: The Pandemic is Not Over – A COVID-19 vaccine equity conference

May 13, 2022

The Pandemic is Not Over – A COVID-19 vaccine equity conference

DATE: June 2, 2022
TIME: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM


Billions of people are still being denied access to COVID-19 vaccine and treatments and millions are still dying and getting severely ill.

Ahead of the Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organisation in June, the Peoples Vaccine Alliance Ireland are organising a two hour online conference on 2 June (10am-12pm) to call for an agreement for a waiver of intellectual property rights for COVID-19 vaccines, treatments and diagnostics (TRIPS waiver). 

The TRIPS waiver would facilitate the local generic production of COVID-19 vaccines, tests and treatments in low and middle-income countries and has been opposed by the Irish Government and the pharmaceutical industry to date.

The conference aims to highlight the impacts of COVID-19, the solutions for ensuring vaccine equity, particularly an intellectual property waiver; and how we can support countries distribute vaccines. 


Speaker Details

  • Senator Alice-Mary Higgins is an independent Senator on the National University of Ireland panel and leads the Civil Engagement Group in Seanad Éireann. Alice-Mary has worked at the National Women’s Council of Ireland and Trócaire. In December 2021, following months of advocacy both inside and outside the Seanad chamber, Alice-Mary proposed a motion in the Seanad calling on the Irish Government to publicly support a TRIPS waiver and campaign for the European Commission to reverse their opposition to the waiver. The motion was passed unanimously.
  • Dr. Luke McDonagh is an Assistant Professor at LSE Law School. He undertakes research in the area of intellectual property law and has recently published an extensive examination of global COVID-19 vaccine inequality in the context of intellectual property law. Dr. McDonagh has published widely in respected journals and is the author of several books, including European Patent Litigation in the Shadow of the Unified Patent Court.
  • Diarmaid McDonald is a Shuttleworth Fellow with nearly two decades of experience in global health, HIV, and access to medicines policy, advocacy and campaigns. He was Advocacy Manager of STOPAIDS, a UK-based coalition focused on the global AIDS response, for six years and has worked on HIV programmes in Tanzania and Ethiopia. In 2017 he founded Just Treatment, a patient-led campaign demanding fair access to medicines on the NHS and reform of the pharmaceutical industry.
  • Candice Sehoma is the Medecins Sans Frontiers’ Access Campaign Advocacy Coordinator based in Johannesburg, South Africa. Ms. Sehoma advocates for access to affordable medicine, diagnostics and vaccines. Her expertise are at the intersections between intellectual property, medical innovation,  human rights and access to medicines. Ms. Sehoma is also the founder of The Building Blocks Foundation which seekers to improve access to quality sanitation by eradicating the use of bucket toilets, replacing them with flush toilets.
  • Fatima Hassan is a human rights lawyer and social justice activist and the founder of the Health Justice Initiative. She is the former Executive Director of the Open Society Foundation for South Africa, heading the Foundation for 6 years. She is a former co-director and a founding Trustee of Ndifuna Ukwazi, and previously served on the Boards of the Raith Foundation; SA Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders (MSF-SA); the International Treatment Preparedness Coalition (ITPC); and the SA Council for Medical Schemes. She has worked for the AIDS Law Project and also acted for the Treatment Action Campaign in many of its legal cases.



  • Prof. Susan Smith is Professor of General Practice at Trinity College Dublin and works as a General Practitioner at Inchicore Family Doctors in Dublin 8. Her research interests include improving outcomes for patients with multimorbidity and medicines management, including access to medicines. She was one of the founding members of Doctors for Vaccine Equity. During the COVID-19 pandemic she has been a member of the HIQA COVID19 Expert Advisory Group, which provides evidence-based guidance to inform public policy.




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