The United States government has announced that it supports the waiver of Intellectual Property Protections on Covid-19 vaccine development, in a bid to boost the fight against the pandemic, and says it will participate in the Okonjo-Iweala-led WTO negotiation to make it happen.
This was disclosed in a statement by Ambassador Katherine Tai, the US Trade Rep, on Wednesday evening.
What the statement on Covid-19 IP waiver said
“The administration believes strongly in intellectual property protections, but in service of ending this pandemic, supports the waiver of those protections for Covid-19 vaccines.
We will actively participate in text-based negotiations at the World Trade Organization (WTO) to make this happen.
The Administration’s aim is to get as many safe and effective vaccines to as many people as fast as possible.”
They added that they would continue working with the private sector and all possible partners to expand vaccine manufacturing and distribution.
What you should know
Recall Nairametrics reported earlier that World Trade Organization’s Director-General, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, had warned that “vaccine nationalism” could affect the much-expected pandemic recovery, as well as decimate economic growth for all countries – rich and poor.
“A very top priority for me would be to make sure that prior to the very important ministerial conference … that we come to solutions as to how the WTO can make vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics accessible in an equitable and affordable fashion to all countries, particularly to poor countries,” she added.