People’s COVID-19 Summit Highlights Role of Global Vaccine Equity
This week the nonprofit End Covid Now is holding a People’s COVID-19 Summit from May 9-12 to discuss the role of global vaccine equity in achieving herd immunity.
During a session on Tuesday a handful of policymakers discussed barriers to achieving global vaccine equity.
Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., said during the event that since December 2020, President Joe Biden has been trying to get the World Trade Organization to give a waiver of intellectual property rights for COVID-19 vaccines and products produced in the U.S., but U.S. pharmaceutical companies have argued they own the patents.
“About 16% of people in poor countries have had but one dose of the COVID vaccine,” said Schakowsky during the event.
“The U.S. has done [a lot] but we don’t want to have a charity model … [those countries] should be able to make [vaccines] themselves,” said Schakowsky.
The intellectual property waiver would allow vaccines to be manufactured in many places around the world, and according to Schakowsky the WTO will hold a meeting this week to discuss a potential waiver on COVID-19-related pharmaceuticals.
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