Washington supports raising patents for Corona vaccines

The US administration announced on Wednesday its support for a global lifting of patents for anti-Corona vaccines, explaining that it is participating in negotiations on terms for this at the World Trade Organization.

US Trade Representative Catherine Tay said in a statement that the intellectual property rights of companies are important, but that Washington "supports the waiver of that protection for Covid-19 vaccines." "This is a global health crisis, and the exceptional circumstances of the Covid-19 pandemic call for exceptional measures to be taken," she added.

The official added that her country is participating "actively" in the ongoing negotiations at the World Trade Organization regarding the lifting of these patents.

India and South Africa, in particular, are calling for the temporary lifting of patents on vaccines in order to be able to speed up production, but some countries, including France, are against it.

Instead, Paris is asking for donations in favor of poor countries.

Powerful pharmaceutical companies generally oppose suspending their patents, arguing that doing so would prevent costly research.

Catherine Tay acknowledged that negotiations at the World Trade Organization "will take time due to the consensual nature of the institution and the complexity of the issues at hand."

She emphasized that "the goal (...) is to provide the largest possible number of safe and effective vaccines to the largest possible number of people as soon as possible."

And she stressed that "the department will continue to intensify its efforts, in cooperation with the private sector and all potential partners, to expand vaccine manufacturing and distribution."


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