Amid Wait For COVID-19 Vaccines, LMICs Push For WTO To Temporarily Waive Intellectual Property Protections For Vaccines, Treatments, Diagnostics

Devex: At WTO, a battle for access to COVID-19 vaccines
“High-income countries appear to be maneuvering to avoid a showdown at the World Trade Organization’s General Council meeting, beginning Wednesday, over a proposal to temporarily waive intellectual property protections for all COVID-19 vaccines and other technologies. With the United Kingdom, United States, and Canada already immunizing their citizens and high-income countries laying claim to the vast majority of current and future vaccine doses, supporters of the waiver argue that it is more critical than ever…” (Green, 12/15).

NBC News: Covid-19 vaccines are being hoarded by rich countries — poor ones are missing out
“Lost among the jubilation of America’s vaccine rollout this week is an uncomfortable reality: The world’s poorest countries will have to wait months and possibly years to see any doses at all. … In this critical game of medicine logistics — where supply is small but demand immediate and universal — campaigners and some officials accuse these wealthy nations of snapping up orders and hoarding more than they need…” (Smith, 12/16).

Science: As COVID-19 vaccines emerge, a global waiting game begins
“…The COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) Facility, set up by the World Health Organization (WHO) and its partners to help purchase and distribute proven vaccines, was meant to avert such inequity. But COVAX is strapped for cash and its impact remains to be seen…” (Cohen/Kupferschmidt, 12/15).

Additional coverage of the United States’ coronavirus vaccine rollout amid rising numbers of deaths and hospitalizations is available from STAT and Washington Post.

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