Biden administration backs waiving Covid vaccine patent protections – live

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9.18pm BST

Gabriel Scally, a professor of public health at the University of Bristol and a member of the Independent Sage committee, argued that waiving intellectual property protections was the most efficient way to get vaccines to countries like India, which is experiencing a devastating surge in cases right now.

Scally wrote in a Guardian column last month:

Production is being constrained because pharmaceutical companies have refused to share their vaccine technology, and intellectual property rules prevent countries from creating their own generic versions of the jabs. This means we are restricted to the supply chains of the patent-holder company. Because of this impediment, we are using just a fraction of the world’s potential global vaccine manufacturing capacity.

More than 100 nations, led by India and South Africa, are pushing to temporarily suspend patent rules at the World Trade Organization during this pandemic. But the move has been blocked by a small number of countries, including the UK and the US, as well as by the EU.

Related: The world needs a patent waiver on Covid vaccines. Why is the UK blocking it? | Gabriel Scally

9.01pm BST

Senator Bernie Sanders applauded the Biden administration for backing a waiver of intellectual property protections for coronavirus vaccines.

The progressive senator also thanked the “the dedicated work done by activists around the world to put this issue on the global agenda”.

I applaud the Biden administration for taking this bold step to speed up the production and availability of coronavirus vaccines. I also recognize the dedicated work done by activists around the world to put this issue on the global agenda. We are all in this together.

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