Biden Backs Waiving International Patent Protections For COVID-19 Vaccines
Thursday May 6, 2021. 10:00 PM , from Slashdot
President Biden threw his support behind a World Trade Organization proposal earlier this week to waive intellectual property protections for COVID-19 vaccines, clearing a hurdle for vaccine-strapped countries to manufacture their own vaccines even though the patents are privately held. From a report: 'This is a global health crisis, and the extraordinary circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic call for extraordinary measures,' U.S. trade representative Katherine Tai said in a statement. 'The Administration believes strongly in intellectual property protections, but in service of ending this pandemic, supports the waiver of those protections for COVID-19 vaccines.' The pace of vaccinating against COVID-19 in the U.S. is slowing down. In some places, there are more vaccine doses than people who want them. Meanwhile, India is now the epicenter of the pandemic, and just 2% of its population is fully vaccinated. The WTO is considering a proposal to address that inequity, as India, South Africa and over 100 other nations advocate to waive IP rights for COVID-19 vaccines and medications, which could let manufacturers in other countries make their own.
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