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Greenpeace India writes to WTO to end patent rights on vaccine

Agencies | Updated on: Tuesday, June 01, 2021, 01:26 AM IST

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New Delhi

Greenpeace India on Monday urged the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to waive intellectual property and patent rights on Covid vaccines, saying equity and access gaps in inoculation rates of rich and poor countries is costing lives.

In an open letter to the WTO, it said India is facing a massive shortage of vaccines and the WTO’s decision on intellectual property and patent rights on vaccines could either strengthen the fight against the Covid pandemic or lead to a battle that cannot be won. The letter comes ahead of WTO TRIPs (Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) Council meet from June 8-9.

“Nine out of 10 people in developing countries may not receive a vaccine in 2021. India is facing a massive shortage of Covid-19 vaccines necessary to tackle the pandemic. The decisions by the WTO and the member delegates will either strengthen the fight against the pandemic or condemn a large section of the world’s population to fig­ht a losing battle against it," said the Greenpeace letter to WTO director general Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. It said big pharma firms were not willing to share the science and technology to augment production of vaccines, delaying rollout in several countries.

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Published on: Tuesday, June 01, 2021, 01:26 AM IST