• Fri. Oct 22nd, 2021

Vaccines turn, US and EU open on patent suspension

Byeditorial

May 6, 2021

After the US, the EU also says it is in favor of the suspension of patents on anti-Covid vaccines. “The European Union is ready to discuss any proposal that addresses the crisis in an effective and pragmatic way and that is why we are ready to discuss how the US proposal for an intellectual property protection exemption for Covid vaccines can help achieve this goal “, declared the President of the European Commission Ursula Von Der Leyen, while appealing to all producing countries to allow exports in the short term and avoid the adoption of measures that interrupt the supply of doses. In his speech at the State of the Union conference, organized by the European University Institute, von der Leyen also wanted to underline how “Europe’s success in the vaccination campaign” has been achieved “by remaining open to the world”. “Europe exports as many vaccines as it distributes to its citizens,” he said. The news arrived yesterday evening that the Biden administration would have sided in favor of the suspension of patents for anti-Covid vaccines. The turning point, announced by various US media, including the New York Times, came after the United States opposed in the World Trade Organization the proposal to suspend the protection of intellectual property for vaccines. However, President Joe Biden, with the uncontrolled spread of the pandemic in India and South America, has found himself under increasing international and domestic pressure to support the proposal, which paves the way for mass production of vaccines globally. The new US position was announced by Katherine Tai, US representative to the WTO. “Biden’s breakthrough on free access for all to vaccine patents is an important step forward,” wrote Health Minister Roberto Speranza. on Facebook adding: “This pandemic has taught us that we can only win together”.
“That of US President Joe Biden is a turning point, an extraordinary thing: removing or lightening the patent for anti-Covid vaccines in the poorest countries is a great opportunity. In this way they could produce it locally,” he told Adnkronos Health. Matteo Bassetti, director of the Infectious Diseases Clinic of the San Martino hospital in Genoa and member of the Covid-19 crisis unit of Liguria. “I want to remember that today we are vaccinating only in Western countries – observes Bassetti – but if we want to fight Covid we have to vaccinate the entire world population and the choice to lighten the patents is a great extra opportunity”.