The Fight Over Coronavirus Vaccines


It is not going to be easy for most people to get coronavirus vaccines. More so, the underdeveloped states will have to put up a spirited fight. Although that is just a prediction, there is a possibility that humanity will fail in its quest against the virus. Nevertheless, if we discover a safe and effective vaccine, the problem is it won’t be enough for everybody.

Vaccine Controversies

It appears that highly developed countries seem not to be in for discussions concerning the proposals to temporarily waive intellectual property protections for all covid vaccines and other technologies. A majority of the high-income countries have shown disregard for the Proposal even before the World Trade Organization Meeting.

Meanwhile, as the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and Canada have already begun the vaccination process and pre-ordered a majority of future vaccines, low-income countries stand no chance, especially as they cannot even make the orders without money. Waiver supporters, in turn, allege that the situation is more critical than ever.

Countries like the United States and Canada are openly opposing the waiver, especially as they have confirmed tremendous covid cases. According to Brook Baker, a specialist in intellectual property law at Northeastern University, denying developing countries with similar outbreaks a chance to benefit from the current system is a wrong choice. Mr. Brook feels that since the wealthy countries have gotten their vaccines, they want to stop other countries from getting supplies as well. And most of all, they want to exploit the developing nations as the companies are located in their countries.

There is some skepticism on whether the underdeveloped states would mismanage the Proposal introduced by India and South Africa. Those supporting the waiver are ready and willing to address any issue during the trade meeting as long as the debate is not being used to sideline the conversations around access to Coronavirus vaccines.

The Fate of the Proposal

There is so much indecisiveness concerning the Proposal. The Proposal aims to temporarily suspend the intellectual property rights around products that would protect, contain and treat COVID-19. That’s inclusive of waiving protections for patents, as has been done with HIV treatments and other drugs. Moreover, copyrights, industrial designs, and trade secrets of these vaccines should be shared. I.e., until everyone worldwide has been immunized and the majority developed an immunity.

Mr. Baker said that the Proposal was a great way to protect countries from having a dispute resolution brought against them at the World Trade Organization if they begin producing or distributing the vaccines. It gives other countries freedom to operate in simpler words, including the power to manufacture and distribute immunizations at a cost below what current distributors are charging.

In case the proposals meet approval, then there will be increased manufacturing of vaccines in different pharmaceutical companies. And in turn, there will be diverse supply options, and there will be more timely and equitable distribution. However, from the look of things, sponsors of the Proposal are receiving similar questions that intend to stall the process.



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