Sunday, December 10

Germany speaks out against COVID-19 vaccine patent waiver

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BERLIN — German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Monday he did not agree with a planned intellectual property waiver for COVID-19 vaccines as patents are a crucial way of encouraging companies to continue pushing ahead with new research.

The waiver drafted by the United States, European Union, India and South Africa earlier in March would need formal approval from the WTO’s 164 member countries, including Germany, before being adopted.

The potential waiver deal followed months of negotiations over how to accelerate COVID-19 vaccine production in developing countries, where vaccination rates have lagged wealthy countries.

Scholz, speaking at a news conference, said that a better way of making vaccines accessible in emerging economies would be to transfer vaccine production facilities to Africa. (Reporting by Zuzanna Szymanska. Editing by Jane Merriman)