To accelerate the end of the pandemic
A federal official said on Wednesday that the U.S. government will support a proposal to exempt vaccines against the new coronavirus for intellectual property protection in order to accelerate the end of the pandemic.
In negotiations at the World Trade Organization to relax international trade rules to allow more countries to produce vaccines, U.S. Trade Representative Catherine Tay announced the country’s position in a statement.
Dai said in the statement: “The government firmly believes in intellectual property protection, but to help end this pandemic, the government supports the exemption of those protections for the COVID-19 vaccine.”
However, he warned that it will take time to reach the global “consensus” necessary to give up such protections in accordance with WTO rules, and US officials say this will not have an immediate effect on global supply.
He said: “This is a global health crisis. The special circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic require special measures.” “The government’s goal is to provide as many people as possible in the shortest possible time. Safe and effective vaccine.”
The WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala) spoke about this issue a few hours after speaking at a private meeting with ambassadors from developing and developed countries. Different opinions, but they agreed that more use of COVID-19 therapy is needed. WTO spokesperson Keith (Tai) announced Tai’s announcement. Rockwell said.
The WTO General Council composed of ambassadors agreed to discuss the issue of a temporary exemption from the protection of intellectual property rights for the COVID-19 vaccine and other methods. South Africa and India made this proposal for the first time in October last year. This idea has been supported by some progressive legislators in developing countries and the West.
Rockwell said that the WTO Intellectual Property Committee will discuss the exemption proposal again before the ad hoc meeting (formal meeting held from June 8 to 9) later this month.
The meeting of ambassadors is not expected to lead to a consensus, which is required by WTO rules. However, Rockwell pointed out that after months of disagreement, the position has changed.
“What I want to say is that the discussion is more constructive and pragmatic. Rockwell said that compared to previous occasions, it was depressed and reported less. “I think this feeling expresses our being together. This is something we have never heard of before. “
The author of the proposal has encountered resistance in many influential countries in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, and has been adjusting it to make it more attractive.
In a statement published on the WTO website, Okonjo-Ivira said: “We have a responsibility to act quickly to put the adjusted text on the table, but we can also start negotiations based on the document.”
He emphasized: “I firmly believe that once we sit in front of us with a text, we can find a pragmatic way forward, which is acceptable to all parties.”
A Geneva trade official who asked not to be named said that the co-sponsors of the measure used different diplomatic methods to express their arguments. He said that the deadlock still exists and the parties to the conflict have not yet reached an agreement.
The argument is part of a long-term debate on intellectual property protection, with a focus on publishing patents, industrial designs, and copyright and protection of confidential information to help expand vaccine production and development when supplies are scarce. Our goal is to suspend the rules for a few years, enough to overcome this epidemic.
As India is the world’s second most populous country and a major vaccine producer, including a surge in infections against a COVID-19-based vaccine developed by Vaccinia University and Anglo-Swedish Pharmaceuticals, this problem has become more urgent. AstraZeneca.
The sponsors of the plan, including the director-general of WHO Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, emphasized that such exemptions are part of the WTO’s tools and insisted that there is no better time to use them than during a pandemic. The number of people infected exceeds 3.2 million. It has infected more than 437 million and caused severe damage to the economy around the world.
More than 100 countries have spoken on this proposal, and 110 members of the U.S. Congress (all Democrats) sent a letter to Biden last month asking Biden to support this exemption.
Critics of this measure point out that the exemption will not be a miraculous solution. They insist that the production of coronavirus vaccines is a complicated process that cannot be accelerated by simply removing intellectual property restrictions, claiming that doing so will harm future innovation.