The Biden administration supports waiving patents on coronavirus vaccines
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) have announced the need to temporarily waive patent protection for coronavirus vaccines. President Joe Biden's administration has supported a move away from intellectual property protection for COVID-19 vaccines.
The WTO leaders urged member countries of the organization to notify the details of the agreement on the temporary relaxation of the rules for the protection of intellectual property for vaccines by the end of the week. Waiver of patent protection proposed by South Africa and India could remove obstacles to increased vaccine production in developing countries.
US Trade Representative Catherine Tai said on Wednesday that "the extreme circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic call for extraordinary measures." “The administration strongly believes in protecting intellectual property, bu it supports the removal of this protection for COVID-19 vaccines to end this pandemic,” she said. Tai noted that "the supply of vaccines for the American people has been secured." The Biden administration will continue to work "with the private sector and all possible partners" to expand vaccine production and distribution, she said, and will work "to increase the raw materials needed to make these vaccines."