The Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), Moussa Faki Mahamat welcomed the announcement of the United States of America to support South Africa and India’s call for the temporary waiver of intellectual property protections for Covid-19 vaccines at the World Trade Organization.
The US administration on Thursday declared its support for waiving intellectual property rights, including patents, for COVID-19 vaccines.
The Chairperson commends this important show of global leadership by the United States of America, alongside more than 100 countries, to help end the most devastating global public health crisis in living memory, by supporting the South Africa and India-led proposal to temporarily suspend rules on intellectual property rights on Covid19 vaccines.
The Chairperson further urged all countries that have not yet done so, to urgently support this historic initiative of multilateral cooperation to ensure equitable vaccine protection for the entire global community.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has also praised the commitment by the US administration to support the temporary waiver of intellectual property on COVID-19 vaccines in a bold move to end the pandemic as quickly as possible.
The US declaration echoes the general belief that suspending patents and other intellectual property rights relevant to pharmaceuticals will remove legal barriers, and allows vaccine developers to enter the market more quickly without worrying about the prospect of litigation over potential infringements of intellectual property rights.
It will also mean vaccines manufactured in one country can be exported to others without having to navigate a legal maze.