MSF urges rich countries to back Covid vaccine patent waiver

 The medical charity Doctors Without Borders/ Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) urged rich countries to not block a patent waiver plan in the upcoming meeting of World Trade Organisation (WTO). The member of WTO are due to meet informally to talk about this waiver. The patent waiver will boost global production of coronavirus vaccines.

"In this COVID-19 pandemic, we are once again faced with issues of scarcity, which can be addressed through diversification of manufacturing and supply capacity and ensuring the temporary waiver of relevant intellectual property,” said Dr Maria Guevara, MSF’s International Medical Secretary. 

“We urge all countries in opposition to this, including the US and the EU, to stand on the right side of history and join hands with those in support. It is about saving lives at the end, not protecting systems.” 

This 'TRIPS waiver proposal was put forward by India and South Africa in October last year. Now, the proposal has official backing of 59 sponsoring governments. Around 100 countries support the proposal overall. However, the proposal continues to be stonewalled by a small number of governments.

India is struggling with huge spike in coronavirus cases. Indian health ministry on Thursday reported a spike of more than 300,000 fresh infections within 24 hours. This is the highest recorded number for any country.



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