Last month, the State of Youth joined a worldwide effort to pressure world leaders to ensure a people’s vaccine. The young people utilized polarizing slogans and graphics to inform people about the lack of equity in the world’s vaccine response.

When organizing against a global pandemic it takes a global response so the State of Youth’s citizens responded by calling for SDG19: the right to be vaccinated against COVID-19. By contributing to pressure campaigns geared towards mass mobilization and direct action, State of Youth was able to play a role in pushing for vaccine equity and join a unique coalition that was able to push for material change.

World leader’s went from responding to the initial protests with excuses that shielded the vaccine patent holders to agreeing to join a global coalition working towards a people’s vaccine. Before we launched our protest efforts, the nation’s leaders of Spain, the Netherlands, the United States and Ireland all showed no signs they were going to support amending global IP laws in the name of public health, but now Pandora’s box has begun to open and the potential for urgently needed change to continue to occur.

While we want to commend the actions by these nations in response to mass protests we must understand that the dichotomy is simple; either countries hoard the vaccine or we make life saving technologies available to all in need.