Intellectual property waiver for COVID vaccines should be expanded to include treatments and tests

Deborah Gleeson, Dianne Nicol, James Scheibner

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

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Abstract

Global inequities in access to COVID vaccines have turned out to be a “catastrophic moral failure”, just as the World Health Organization warned they would in January 2021. Yet it took 20 months of negotiations for members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) to agree to a limited relaxation of patent rules for COVID vaccines – a move decried by civil society organisations as too little, too late.

Treatments and diagnostic tests are also very important in managing the pandemic, and like vaccines, are very unequally distributed globally. Unfortunately, negotiations to expand the WTO decision on COVID vaccine patents to include treatments and tests are in a sorry state. There is little chance of a decision by the December deadline WTO members set for themselves.

In the meantime, deaths and hospitalisation from COVID continue to place pressure on health-care systems...
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages4
Specialist publicationThe Conversation
PublisherThe Conversation
Publication statusPublished - 22 Nov 2022

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Vaccination
  • Vaccine patents
  • World Trade Organization (WTO)
  • Health access
  • Global inequities

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