EU proposes WTO plan to increase COVID vaccine production Coronavirus pandemic news

Under pressure, the EU stated that compared with the proposed abandonment of patent rights, the EU now has another option to increase production more effectively, and the United States has now abandoned this proposal.

The European Union has proposed a plan that is believed to be more effective in helping to increase the production and supply of COVID-19 vaccines than the proposed abandonment of patent rights supported by the United States.

Under pressure from developing countries to abandon intellectual property rights for vaccines and treatments, the European Union proposed an alternative on Wednesday, focusing on export restrictions, vaccine developers’ commitments, and the flexibility of existing World Trade Organization (WTO) rules. .

WTO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus) said on Monday that the world has reached the “vaccination apartheid” situation, and poorer countries, which account for half of the population, only accept 17% of the vaccine.

EU Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis told the European Parliament that universal and fair access is a top priority for the international community.

In a debate on global vaccine access, Dombrovskis told parliamentarians that the EU is prepared to participate in the review of the temporary exemption from the WTO’s Trade-Related Intellectual Property Agreement to the extent to which it has promoted the spread of vaccine .

Since October, India and South Africa have been urging other WTO members to cancel the intellectual property rights of vaccines to ensure their supply to the world.Last week, US President Joe Biden (Joe Biden) broke out on the issue again. Support this idea.

The EU and other opponents say this will not increase vaccine production.

The Vice President of the European Commission said that the most effective way to achieve universal use is to increase production, share more vaccines and make them affordable.

Dombrowskis said that the EU plan has three elements.

He said that export restrictions should be kept to a minimum, and emphasized that half of the vaccines produced in EU countries are exported. French President Emmanuel Macron urged Washington on Saturday to lift restrictions on exports of vaccines and vaccine ingredients.

Dombrowskis said that vaccine manufacturers and developers should also make specific commitments to increase supply to vulnerable developing countries at production costs.

Finally, Dombrovskis emphasized the existing WTO rules that countries can grant licenses to manufacturers even without the consent of the patent holder. If such manufacturers provide vaccines at cost prices, the right holders should not profit from any payables.

The committee will submit the plan to WTO members in early June. The committee stated that the speed of implementation of the plan may be much faster than the abandonment of the plan. This will require changes to WTO rules and may take several months. Time to complete.

The European Parliament will vote on an intellectual property exemption resolution in June, although Wednesday’s debate revealed clear differences between green groups that favor left-leaning and green groups opposed to right-leaning.

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