Compromise likely as G20 unconvinced on vaccine IP waivers


Leaders of the world’s largest economies back “voluntary licensing” of Covid-19 vaccine patents,

according to draft conclusions of the Global Health Summit in Rome. The draft, which is still subject to changes, is the result of a compromise among experts from G20 nations, which remain divided over the waiving of intellectual property rights for Covid-19 vaccines, reported Reuters (18 May 2021).

The Biden administration earlier in May joined India, SA and many other developing countries in calling for a temporary waiver of patents for Covid-19 vaccines, in the hope that it would boost production and allow a fairer distribution of shots across the world. But the EU and other vaccine-making countries have raised doubts, saying that the removal of US export restrictions on vaccine raw materials, the transfer of know-how and voluntary co-operation among vaccine makers would ensure a much quicker ramping up of global production.

The new version of the summit conclusions also says that the WHO should be “appropriately, sustainably and predictably funded” to prevent and react to future health emergencies.

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