May 25, 2022

Statement: Call for the World Health Assembly members to refuse PMI-backed vaccine

Les Hagen, the Executive Director of Action on Smoking & Health (ASH) delivered remarks on behalf of the tobacco control community at the World Health Assembly.


I’m here on behalf of Corporate Accountability and dozens of tobacco control organizations worldwide who are concerned the tobacco industry and its ongoing interference with public health

The Canadian government and Philip Morris International have collaborated on the development of a new COVID-19 vaccine marketed as Covifenz. The WHO recently rejected the vaccine for emergency distribution due to the involvement of a tobacco company.

We urge all members of this Assembly to refuse the Philip Morris vaccine on the grounds that its use represents a blatant violation of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. Article 5.3 of this public health treaty prohibits Member states from collaborating with tobacco companies.

The control of one pandemic should not compromise another. We encourage all members states to use this firewall to avoid all forms of engagement with the tobacco industry including the distribution of the Philip Morris vaccine.

Thank you for your attention to this important matter.


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