Hindustan Times (East UP)

As pressure builds, US could ease IPR on jabs

- Letters@hindustant­imes.com

WASHINGTON: The Biden administra­tion is weighing an appeal from progressiv­e Democrats to accelerate global access to Covid-19 vaccines by supporting a waiver of intellectu­al property rights (IPR) protection­s, a move opposed by big drugmakers.

Lawmakers led by senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren last week called on President Joe Biden to back a proposal before the World Trade Organizati­on (WTO) that seeks a broad waiver from obligation­s on the protection of IP rights, including patents, copyrights and trade secrets.

The lawmakers and allies including labour unions argue that the plan - backed by India, South Africa, and more than 50 other countries - would save lives. The Trump administra­tion had blocked the proposal, first put forward in October.

US trade representa­tive Katherine Tai has indicated that the status quo isn’t an option, without committing to changing or maintainin­g the country’s stance at the WTO.

200mn in US vaccinated in under 100 days

Biden has hailed his government’s achievemen­t in administer­ing 200 million Covid-19 vaccine shots across the US ahead of schedule.

He said the landmark had been reached a week before he hits his administra­tion’s 100-day mark - the deadline he’d announced for meeting the 200 million doses challenge.

“Today we did it, today we hit 200 million shots,” he said in a televised speech from the White House, calling it “an incredible achievemen­t for the nation”.

He said it’s a “goal unmatched in the world or in prior mass vaccinatio­n efforts in American history. The progress we’ve made has been stunning”.

WHO and EMA to inspect Sputnik V manufactur­ing Technical experts from the World Health Organizati­on (WHO) are due to start the next round of their review of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine against Covid-19 jointly with the European Medicines Agency (EMA) on May 10, the WHO has said.

The Russian government has sought the WHO’s emergencyu­se listing for the coronaviru­s vaccine developed by Gamalaya Institute.

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