While the coronavirus pandemic is now in son second yearthe growing inequality of vaccines remains a major stumbling block in fight against COVID-19. However, the European Union thinks otherwise.
EU on Monday maintained son refusal to lift patent protections on Vaccines against covid19, just coming days of a summit with African Union countries who To see the issue in priority.
Since October 2020, India and South Africa have been appealing to the World Trade Organization (WTO) to temporarily withdraw intellectual property rights. property protections for vaccines, treatments and diagnostics in the fight against COVID-19[FEMALE[FEMININE
Proponents argue that this would boost production globally and help remedy the blatant inequity in access between rich and poor nations.
The members of the African Union have lobbied to include demand in conclusions of the joint EU-AU summit which opens on Thusday in Brussels.
“The African Union (…) urges the European Union to engage constructively towards the conclusion of a targeted and time-limited derogation”, indicates the AU proposal, consulted by Agence France-Presse (AFP).
But many rich countries hosting big pharma opposed moveclaiming that patents are not main barriers to scaling up production and are essential for innovation.
“We believe that intellectuals property should never be a brake (on the production of vaccines)”, declared Franck Riester, the trade minister from France, who currently assumes the rotating presidency of the EU.
“At the same time, we want at call question a system of intellectual property this allows for innovation and who has made this possible, in in particular, to have vaccines very quickly in the case of COVID-19,” he said. added.
Riester was speaking after holding talks with its European counterparts on the question in French city of Marseilles in including WTO chief Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala also took part.
Okonjo-Iweala in January says a deal at the WTO on the easing of vaccine manufacturing restrictions was weeks away, possibly in time for the EU-AU summit.
Corn on On Monday, ministers said they hoped for a WTO agreement no earlier than June.
Irish Deputy Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, whose country is home several big pharmaceutical companies, said that “it is very important that we are ready to compromise and that we are ready to make sure that vaccines are available in all parties of the world.”
“But what we want at avoid is this pandemic used in a way by some countries undermine innovation or undermine intellectual capacity property,” he added.