Biden Calls On Nations To Waive Intellectual Property Rights On CoViD-19 Vaccines

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Biden Calls On Nations To Waive Intellectual Property Rights On CoViD-19 Vaccines

US President Joe Biden has called for nations and corporations to waive their intellectual property rights pertaining to Covid-19 vaccines, a move which he hopes will result in greater access to vaccines in poorer countries.


The move comes as leaders join to meet at the World Trade Organization (WTO) and as a new variant named Omicron is found in South Africa.


Current intellectual property rights mean that companies can sell vaccines to the highest bidder while pocketing huge profits. Biden's effort to stop this is supported by nations such as South Africa and India, both of whom have experienced huge waves of Covid over the last two years. However, nations such as Switzerland and the UK oppose the dropping of the intellectual property rights, which they say could stop or dissuade companies funding important future vaccine research.


The President said:


"The news about this new variant should make clearer than ever why this pandemic will not end until we have global vaccinations. This news today reiterates the importance of moving on this quickly."


Adding:


"I call on the nations gathering next week for the World Trade Organization ministerial meeting to meet the U.S. challenge to waive intellectual property protections for COVID vaccines, so these vaccines can be manufactured globally. I endorsed this position in April; this news today reiterates the importance of moving on this quickly."


The discovery of the new Covid strain has sparked fears that current vaccines will not work against it and that it could spread faster than previously existing strains such as Delta.


The new variant resulted in the US and UK, as well as other European countries, halting all flights from 6 southern African countries, and reimposing measures to stop the spread including mask-wearing and social-distancing. Moves which the South African authorities say are overkill and unnecessary.


While flights may be halted, the UK and other nations have already found the new variant within their countries, meaning that it may very well already be spreading rapidly.


While fear surrounds the new variant, the South African doctor who discovered Omicron said that, at present, patients were only experiencing very mild symptoms.


[Based on reporting by: Al Jazeera]


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Thinking Humanity: Biden Calls On Nations To Waive Intellectual Property Rights On CoViD-19 Vaccines
Biden Calls On Nations To Waive Intellectual Property Rights On CoViD-19 Vaccines
US president Joe Biden has called for nations and corporations to waive their intellectual property rights pertaining to Covid-19 vaccines, a move whi
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