• Monday, Oct 25, 2021
  • Last Update : 02:06 am

Germany urged to waive intellectual property rules for Covid-19 vaccines

  • Published at 05:16 pm September 15th, 2021
covid vaccine
BIGSTOCK

Bangladesh's only Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus joins former world leaders 

More than 140 former heads of state, government, and Nobel laureates on Wednesday called on the candidates to be the next German Chancellor Annalena Baerbock,Olaf Scholz, and Armin Laschet to declare themselves in favor of waiving intellectual property rules for Covid-19 vaccines and transferring vaccine technologies.

They also called on the candidates to make these the policies of any future coalition government.

The signatories underlined that ending German opposition to waiving patents is vital to overcoming vaccine monopolies, transferring vaccine technology, and scaling up vaccine manufacturing around the world to prevent millions of deaths from Covid-19.

Former world leaders including the former president of France François Hollande, former prime minister of the United Kingdom James Gordon Brown, former president of Colombia Juan Manuel Santos, former president of Malawi Joyce Banda and Nobel prize winners including Professor Joseph Stiglitz, Professor Françoise Barré-Sinoussi, Professor Muhammad Yunus, and Elfriede Jelinek expressed that they are “deeply concerned with Germany’s continued opposition to a temporary waiver of the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) intellectual property rules”, at a time in which “the artificial restriction on manufacturing and supply is leading to thousands of unnecessary deaths from Covid-19 each day”. 

Less than 2% of adults are fully vaccinated in low-income countries compared to almost 50% in high-income countries.


Also Read - Thousands protest in Berlin against Covid curbs, vaccines


Signatories urge the three candidates to support a wide and comprehensive waiver of the TRIPS intellectual property agreement on all Covid-19 related technologies at the WTO, and join over 100 countries including the United States and France in doing so. Despite that, Germany continues to oppose a waiver of the trade-related aspects of intellectual property Rights (TRIPS) agreement for Covid-19 vaccines and treatments at the WTO. 

First proposed by India and South Africa in October 2020, a waiver is now supported by more than 100 nations, with France and the United States announcing their support earlier this year.

The letter emphasizes that “Having helped create the most successful vaccine technology against Covid-19, by overcoming pharmaceutical monopolies and insisting that the technology be shared, Germany has the ability to help end this pandemic”.

In addition to supporting the waiver, they call on the next Chancellor to ensure that German pharmaceutical companies openly and rapidly share life-saving mRNA vaccine technology with qualified producers around the world.

Helen Clark, former prime minister of New Zealand, said: “Germany’s support for a TRIPS waiver in the exceptional circumstances presented by Covid-19 would send a clear signal that all people should be able to benefit speedily from available vaccines and therapeutics.”

Widespread vaccination now and further scaling up of vaccine production will play a significant role in curbing the pandemic, he added. 


Also Read - Covid vaccine: Temporary waiver sought on TRIPS


Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Economics Prize Laureate said: “The new Chancellor of Germany will hold extraordinary power to turn the tide on this horrific pandemic and can be the world leader remembered for helping save millions of lives. Intellectual property rules are locking out people across the world from the benefits of life-saving science - it is time for Germany to ensure the transfer of vaccine technologies and join the rest of the world in backing a temporary waiver at the World Trade Organization”. 

As the heads of state and government and Nobel laureates write to the candidates for chancellors, activists around the world have organized protests to demand the German government to stop blocking efforts to vaccinate the world. 

Protests will take place from the city of Nairobi to the Sydney Opera House in Australia, from the Union Buildings in Pretoria to Brazil's famous Cristo Rei and the famous Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.

The letter, which was coordinated by the People’s Vaccine Alliance, a coalition of more than 70 organizations including Club de Madrid, the Yunus Centre and UNAIDS, warned that extreme vaccine inequity is bound to last as long as there will be no remarkable increase in vaccine production. 

While high-income countries are now starting to offer their citizens booster shots, the global supply falls far short of the levels needed to provide global vaccination coverage.

51
Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail