Hindustan Times (East UP)
As pressure builds, US could ease IPR on jabs
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.