World

Pope Francis supports Biden’s call to waive the Covid vaccine patent

Pope Francisco wearing a face mask, along with other religious representatives, on October 20, 2020, at the Santa Maria Cathedral in Arakoeri, a church on the hilltop of Roman Capitolino in Rome, Italy Attend interreligious prayer services for peace.

Guglielmo Mangiapane | Reuters

Pope Francis on Saturday came out in favor of waiving the intellectual property rights of the coronavirus vaccine. Echo comments made by the US Government earlier this week.

World Trade Organization leaders have recently urged Member States to reach an agreement on a potential waiver of vaccine patents, hoping to remove obstacles to increased vaccine production in developing countries.

President Joe Biden’s team approved the idea on Wednesday, and Trade Representative Katherine Tai said in a statement that he “supports the waiver of these protections against the COVID-19 vaccine.”

Lecture at a global fundraising event on Saturday, Pope Francis said the world is infected with an “individualist virus”.

“A variant of this virus is closed nationalism, which, for example, interferes with internationalism in vaccines,” he said in a comment translated by Reuters.

“Another variant is when we prioritize the laws of the market, the laws of the intellectual market, or the laws of intellectual property over the laws of love and human health,” the Pope added.

Vaccine maker, Shares affected by comments earlier this week, Came out against that idea. Pfizer CEO Albert Bula He warned Friday that it would begin a global competition for raw materials that threaten the safe and efficient production of vaccines.

Germany and Chancellor Angela Merkel are also national BioNTech Being an important partner in Pfizer’s vaccine development. German and other European officials argue that faster vaccine production and sharing is important to end the pandemic.

“The limiting factors in vaccine production are not patents, but capacity and quality standards,” a spokeswoman for Chancellor Angela Merkel said in a statement.

PhRMA, an interest group in the pharmaceutical industry, calls the exemption proposal “an unprecedented step that undermines the global response to pandemics and compromises safety.”

To date, there have been nearly 157 million coronavirus infections worldwide, killing more than 3.2 million people, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

— CNBC’s Rich Mendez and Kevin Breuninger contributed to this article.

Pope Francis supports Biden’s call to waive the Covid vaccine patent

Source link Pope Francis supports Biden’s call to waive the Covid vaccine patent

Back to top button