With more than four million dead and the death toll likely much higher, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said incentives should be offered to vaccine manufacturers in exchange for temporarily waiving their rights.
“Of course, we cannot take his property from him,” Tedros said via video link from Tokyo at the beginning of a meeting with him. World Trade Organization, pharmaceutical companies and global financial institutions.
“With so many lives at stake, profits and patents should come second,” he said, without elaborating on the proposed financial incentives.
Giving up intellectual property rights would help meet the 11 billion doses of vaccine that the WHO says are necessary to protect 70 percent of people in all countries by mid-2022.
This is the second meeting in Geneva to try to bridge the gap on how to increase the supply of injections and reduce vaccine inequality that makes rich countries look at booster injections while healthcare workers in poor countries are not. they have them.
Of the 1.1 billion doses produced globally in June, “only 1.4 percent went to Africans, who represent 17 percent of the world’s population,” said WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweal. , in his opening speech.
“Only 0.24 percent went to people in low-income countries. And both stocks fell further in the first half of July,” he said.
In addition to the suspension of patents, barriers to trade in vaccine ingredients must be removed and laboratories must agree to transfer their technology, Tedros said.