India thanks US for backing IPR waiver on Covid vaccines
"The waiver is an important step for enabling rapid scaling up of manufacture and timely availability of affordable Covid 19 vaccines and essential medical products," the Commerce Ministry said.
After the United States administration announced its support for waiving intellectual property protections for Covid-19 vaccines, India has welcome it and expressed hope that the World Trade Organisation would give its approval soon.
In view of the global health crisis and the need to combat the pandemic, India and South Africa had proposed in WTO last year for relaxation in the norms of the agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property to ensure quick and affordable access to vaccines and medicines for developing countries.
“As a result of proactive outreach by India and other like-minded countries, the proposal has received the support of more than 120 countries,” Indian Commerce and Industry Ministry said.
During his recent phone call on April 26 with the US President, Joe Biden, Prime Minister Narendra Modi informed him about India's initiative at the WTO which was aimed at the benefit of humanity.
"The waiver is an important step for enabling rapid scaling up of manufacture and timely availability of affordable Covid 19 vaccines and essential medical products," it said.
On Wednesday, US trade representative Katherine Tai said, "The administration believes strongly in intellectual property protections, but in service of ending this pandemic, supports the waiver of those protections for Covid-19 vaccines."
But she also warned that it would take time to reach the required global "consensus" to waive the protections under WTO rules, and US officials said it would not have an immediate effect on the global supply of Covid-19 shots.