US Backs Patent Waiver For COVID Vaccines

Washington: The Joe Biden administration has announced support for a global waiver on patent protections for COVID-19 vaccines, offering hope to poor nations that have struggled to access the life-saving doses.

India, where daily cases and deaths have hit unprecedented high, has been leading the fight within the World Trade Organization (WTO) to allow more drug-makers to manufacture the vaccines. However, pharmaceutical giants have opposed the move.

US Trade Representative Katherine Tai said that while intellectual property rights for businesses are important, Washington “supports the waiver of those protections for COVID-19 vaccines” in order to end the pandemic.

“This is a global health crisis, and the extraordinary circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic call for extraordinary measures,” NDTV quoted a statement by Tai released on Wednesday.

The US President has been under intense pressure to waive protections for vaccine manufacturers, especially amid criticism that rich nations were hoarding shots.

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