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Rich nations urged to share vaccine knowledge as WTO debates waiving patents

May 5, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 16.9%. 1 min read.

Members of the World Trade Organization are to discuss a proposal to waive intellectual property rights for Covid-19 vaccines and treatments Wednesday amid growing international pressure for greater access for developing nations.

(CNN)Members of the World Trade Organization are to discuss a proposal to waive intellectual property rights for Covid-19 vaccines and treatments Wednesday amid growing international pressure for greater access for developing nations.

Activists and many world figures argue that the step is the only way to speed up access to life-saving Covid-19 vaccines for developing nations at a time when richer countries have bought up a large part of the global supply.

Its proponents' objective, according to the WTO, "is to avoid barriers to the timely access to affordable medical products including vaccines and medicines or to scaling-up of research, development, manufacturing, and supply of essential medical products. "

Wednesday's WTO meeting comes a day after the chief of Pfizer said the company was expecting approximately $26 billion in revenue from its Covid-19 vaccine in 2021.

More than 300 public health experts signed a letter Friday arguing that the United States should join an effort to force vaccine makers to waive intellectual property rights to coronavirus vaccines and treatments so more countries can start making them.

The group, led by Columbia University professors Terry McGovern and Chelsea Clinton, said the so-called TRIPS waiver would allow local manufacture of vaccines, treatments and diagnostics.

Thomas Bollyky, director of the Global Health Program at the Council on Foreign Relations, told CNN on Friday that what's really needed to scale up global manufacturing of vaccines is technology transfer.

by summa-bot

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