WHO chief hails ‘monumental moment’ in COVID fight, as US throws support behind vaccine patent waiver

Photo via PAHO

(United Nations News) The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday said the commitment announced by the United States administration to lift vaccine patent protections to help boost global supply, was a “monumental moment” in the battle to end the deadly pandemic.

WHO Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, described it on Twitter as a “powerful example of leadership to address global health challenges.”

The UN health chief has for months been urging governments involved in the World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations over intellectual property rights, to suspend patent rules for those vaccines cleared for emergency use, in an effort to boost vaccine production.

The US had resisted lobbying to waive protections, but on Wednesday Katharine Tai, the US Trade Representative, released a detailed statement, outlining why the Biden Administration was changing its mind:

“This is a global health crisis, and the extraordinary circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic call for extraordinary measures”, she said.

Read more at: United Nations News

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