Vaccine nationalism: WHO backs India, South Africa’s proposal to ease patent rules
The World Health Organization has supported India and South Africa’s proposal to World Trade Organization to ease international agreements that might pose a challenge to procure Covid-19 vaccine, once it is available. “WHO welcomes South Africa’s and India’s recent proposal to WTO to ease international and intellectual property agreements on COVID19 vaccines, treatments and tests in order to make the tools available to all who need them at an affordable cost,” WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreysus tweeted.
“As new diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines for Covid-19 are developed, there are significant concerns how these will be made available promptly in sufficient quantities and at affordable price to meet global demand,” the two countries said in their appeal.
Not only vaccines, procuring test kits, medicines will be difficult for poor countries as the race of vaccines is becoming intense. The United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany have finalised several deals with vaccine manufacturers for millions of doses.
Vaccine-maker Moderna has recently said it would not enforce its patents during the pandemic so that other companies are not discouraged to make similar vaccines.