Many of the scientists and campaigners who helped persuade Joe Biden to support an intellectual property waiver for covid vaccines are urging the U.S. president to go further and force vaccine manufacturers to hand over their technology.
Scientists and progressive advocates have celebrated last week’s decision to support the Biden administration’s end-of-rights rights to implement IP protection on covid vaccines. But they say that if the administration wants to end the epidemic in the next 12 months, they must persuade or force agencies to share their knowledge with potential competitors in the developing world.
“The waiver was a huge step, but the transfer of technology needs to come later,” said Joyn Rizvi, a researcher at Public Citizen – a team that led the campaign for an IP waiver for the vaccine. “The president needs to deploy all the authority and power in his position to do this.”
Asia Russell, executive director of Health Gap, one of the world’s leading health organizations, said of the Biden administration’s decision to support the IP waiver: To force our companies to share their technology, we need to issue it. “
World Health Organization last year Set up a fund Known as Kovacs, under which rich countries finance the poor to pay for vaccine quantities. However, doses of the vaccine are in limited supply around the world, and many rich countries provide billions of dollars in initial supplies to help them develop.
Since the first Covid-19 vaccine was approved late last year, production in affluent countries such as the United Kingdom and the United States has risen sharply, but Backward among the poor. India, which was devastated by the recent wave of infections, has vaccinated only 2.8 percent of the population, after 3 percent of the US population has been fully vaccinated.
Scientists say that this division is not only a moral problem, but also a matter of public health if the virus is allowed to change and the vaccine becomes resistant in isolated parts of the world and spreads elsewhere.
The U.S. trade representative, Katherine, therefore expressed hope last week that the Biden administration would support the WTO’s move to waive patent rights to covid vaccines, in the hope that it would allow developing world manufacturers to make copies of their own vaccines.
However, many experts say that if the WTO waiver proposal provides the necessary support to each member, production will not increase rapidly enough. Instead they want companies to end up reducing their own earnings, instructing companies to transfer their vaccines to other companies around the world.
They say that mRNA vaccines, especially those developed by Bioentech / Pfizer and Moderner, can be modified more quickly to deal with the potential emerging variants given.
Amy Kapzensky, co-director of the Global Health Justice Partnership at Yale Law School, said: “We need to vaccinate people as soon as possible. Many manufacturers are able to stand up to medium to long term production without transferring technology. However, the transfer of technology is necessary to do this in the short term.
Beadon said last month: “I think we will be in a position to share vaccines as well as get to know other countries that are in real need.”
But since then no agreement has been announced between US vaccine manufacturers and overseas manufacturers, prompting some to call on the administration to take more aggressive action.
One possibility is that the president can use his powers under the state Korea’s wartime defense production law To acquire the technology of companies on behalf of the government and then share it with other countries.
Another is that the government can use its own patents to force vaccine manufacturers. In particular, Modarna has used patents in her national vaccines without a license from the National Institutes of Health, which invented the technology.
Bernie Graham, one of the NIH scientists behind the patent, Told the Financial Times Last month it gave the government “earnings” on companies to boost global supply.
Alternatively, the administration could form an agency to act as a third-party broker through negotiations for technology transfer deals on behalf of U.S. manufacturers.
The Clinton Foundation works with HIV drugs and says it has helped reduce costs 100 times in some parts of the world. The WHO has already launched a Covid-19 patent pool for companies to share their IPs, and experts say it could prove to global technology brokers if needed.
The White House did not comment, although administration officials said they were focusing on exports rather than increasing supplies to the United States and helping set up production abroad.
However, many have expressed concern that such policies will keep prices too high and will not provide the necessary momentum to vaccinate the world before more worrying forms emerge.
Matthew Kavanagh, an assistant professor of global health at Georgetown University, said: “This has happened before, so there is no reason why it should not happen again. Companies need to tell the government: ‘Here’s our technology, you find people to make it. “