Giving up intellectual property rights with Covid-19 vaccine

Abandoning intellectual property rights with Covid-19 vaccines: 'The key' to narrow the inequality gap in vaccine access between countries?

On October 2, 2021, at the 18th Science and Technology Ministers Roundtable, Vietnam's Minister of Science and Technology, Mr. Huynh Thanh Dat called for the abandonment of intellectual property rights with vaccines. Covid-19 prevention.

Giving up intellectual property rights with Covid-19 vaccine
Giving up intellectual property rights with Covid-19 vaccine

Relinquish intellectual property rights to Covid-19 vaccines

Speaking at the conference, according to Minister of Science and Technology Huynh Thanh Dat, the Covid-19 pandemic puts humanity in front of a life-and-death problem, without precedent, so it requires special and exceptional solutions.

From Vietnam's experience, Mr. Huynh Thanh Dat said that to ensure everyone has equal and earliest access to the Covid-19 vaccine, it is necessary to shorten the time and order of proposals and submissions. and approving research mandates, encouraging experimentation and failure, and promoting open science and open innovation.

The Minister also called for support to give up intellectual property rights for Covid-19 vaccines in order to expand and increase vaccine production on a global scale.

Huynh Thanh Dat proposed to form platforms for sharing patent information, data, scientific publications and research facilities to help less developed countries access and catch up with development trends. development of science and technology in the world.

In particular, the Vietnamese Minister emphasized that the issue of prioritizing and balancing economic growth with ensuring safety and security for the people, in which, it is necessary to put people and people at the center of the economy. all development policies.

Speaking at the conference, Japanese Minister of Science and Technology Inoue Shinji affirmed that Japan will continue to promote cooperation in science, technology and innovation with other countries, towards common interests around the world. gender.

Abandoning intellectual property rights for Covid-19 vaccines is the "key" to solving inequality in vaccine access between countries?

According to a report by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), the world economy could lose trillions of dollars, due to delays and lack of uniformity in Covid-19 vaccination. In which, developing economies suffer the most.

Currently, rich countries are leading in Covid-19 vaccination rates, even counting booster shots, and are starting to reopen their economies. Meanwhile, poorer countries lag far behind.

According to data from Our World in Data, as of August 23, globally, about 5 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccine have been administered, but low-income countries account for only 15.02 million doses of this.

The vaccination campaign in low-income countries is moving at a slow, near-freezing pace, the EIU said. Vaccine inequality is caused by a lack of global production capacity, a lack of raw materials, difficulties in transporting and storing vaccines, as well as many people's reluctance to trust vaccines.

In addition, there are many developing countries that cannot afford to buy vaccines for their people, and are looking for vaccine aid from richer countries. However, global initiatives have not been entirely successful in delivering vaccines where they are needed.

The EIU emphasized that poorer countries may recover more slowly from the Covid-19 pandemic. Especially when restrictive measures must continue due to low vaccination rates.

Agathe Demarais, EIU's global director of forecasting, said: "Once again, the contrast between rich and poor countries is clear: rich countries with high vaccination rates have options, and poor countries with high vaccination rates have options, and poor countries with high vaccination rates have options. Low injection rates don't have many options."

Discussing this situation, on September 23, 2021, the unfair distribution of COVID-19 vaccines also became the focus of the discussion of the United Nations General Assembly (UN General Assembly).

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), so far only 15% of the vaccines promised to rich countries with abundant supplies to poor countries have been delivered.

WHO also expressed the desire that rich countries should fulfill their commitments to share vaccines "immediately" and provide large quantities of vaccines to programs that help poor countries and especially in Africa.

Vaccination rates in some of the world's poorest countries, including Haiti and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, are less than 1%.

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