PH supports relinquishment of COVID-19 vaccine patent
MANILA – The Philippines’ foreign affairs chief said on Friday that the country supports the proposal filed with the World Trade Organization (WTO) to waive intellectual property protection on COVID-19 vaccines in order to allow countries the poorest to produce their own vaccines against the coronavirus.
“[We need to] accelerate vaccine production worldwide and enable developing countries to produce vaccines. We have to start with the adoption of the WTO proposal to waive intellectual property protections on vaccines, ”Foreign Ministry (FDFA) Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr. said in a video message before the International Forum on COVID-19 Vaccine Cooperation, hosted by China.
Locsin concerned the Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) waiver, a South African and Indian proposal filed at the WTO in November 2020, to waive patent enforcement of COVID-19 technologies.
Its main objective is to provide the poorest countries with access to coronavirus vaccines, diagnostic tools and therapeutic treatments by encouraging increased production and improving global supply.
Their proposal is supported by dozens of largely developing countries in the WTO, but opposed by Western countries, including Britain, Switzerland, EU countries and the United States, which have large industries. national pharmaceuticals.
Locsin said local vaccine production is better than any other pandemic strategy for tackling COVID-19 infection.
“Strategically dispersed local vaccine production is a lifeline and a net cast faster, further and wider than any other alternative strategy.”
Meanwhile, Locsin also praised the Chinese-made COVID-19 vaccines, saying they arrived “first on the scene” at the height of infections last year.
“Chinese vaccines were the first on the scene, the most effective at the time and the safest to take because they were based on proven science and technology,” Locsin said.
China, in the forum, joined the call for efforts to “make vaccines accessible and affordable in developing countries” and strengthen cooperation among governments, businesses and international organizations “to provide vaccines to developing countries, especially the least developed countries, as much as possible, ”according to a statement released by the Chinese Foreign Ministry.
Forum participants also expressed their opposition to “vaccine nationalism” and called for the lifting of restrictions on the export of vaccines and raw materials, and “to support domestic companies in international cooperation on research, development and vaccine production ”.
Philippines, DFA, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Intellectual Property, China, WTO, Vaccine, Patent Protection, World Trade Organization, Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights, Teddyboy Locsin, Teodoro Locsin