COVID-19 vaccine patents: scientific breakthroughs must benefit all

COVID-19 vaccine patents: scientific breakthroughs must benefit all

The European Union has already made significant contributions to the global COVAX initiative. The European Commission and the Member States have donated 1 billion euros and 1.2 billion euros respectively, allowing COVAX to purchase doses on behalf of developing nations.

To date, more than 200 million doses have been exported from the EU to over 90 countries worldwide.

A patent waiver would allow any drug manufacturer to produce the vaccine, increasing the potential supply to parts of the world that currently do not have access to the lifesaving shot.

PES President Sergei Stanishev said:

“Solidarity extends beyond our borders. This is why I welcome the move from the Biden administration to support the waiving of patents on COVID-19 vaccines. In addition to the vaccines already donated by the EU member states through the COVAX scheme, this temporary TRIPS waiver should allow every country to contribute fully to the global fight against the pandemic. I encourage the European Commission to engage with the US and other countries to reach a fair outcome for all.”

Yesterday, the Socialists and Democrats Group in the European Parliament (S&D) also urged Europe to take the lead in showing solidarity and guaranteeing everyone gets vaccinated against Covid-19. The S&D Group want the European Commission to take the TRIPS waiver as a starting point to increase global access to affordable COVID-19 vaccines and treatments.

The progressive push – in the USA and Europe – to expand vaccine access comes as European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the European Commission is willing to discuss the proposal to waive intellectual property rights for COVID-19 vaccines.