The US has backed a proposal first put forward by India and South Africa for a temporary waiver on COVID-19 vaccine patents.
“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,” said Ambassador Katherine Tai.
“These extraordinary times and circumstances call for extraordinary measures.”
The World Trade Organization (WTO) also approved the initiative, aimed at boosting supply across the world.
“Vaccine policy is economic policy because the global economic recovery cannot be sustained unless we find a way to get equitable access to vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics,” said Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.
Intellectual property protections ensure that the developers of vaccines are financially rewarded. The UK, the EU and the Trump administration have been against this proposal.
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