Representational Photo
Representational Photo

The European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Thursday said that she is ready to discuss solutions to help increase the production of COVID-19 vaccines for global vaccination.

"Our priority is to ramp up production to achieve global vaccination. At the same time we are open to discuss any other effective and pragmatic solution. In this context we are ready to assess how the US proposal could help achieve that objective," the EU chief tweeted.

"In the short run, however, we call upon all vaccine producing countries to allow export immediately and to avoid measures that disrupt the supply chains," she added.

EU chief's remark comes hours after US trade representative Ambassador Katherine Tai issued a statement saying the extraordinary circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic required extraordinary measures to respond and that the waiving of intellectual property protections on vaccines was needed to help end the pandemic.

According to the statement, the United States would participate in World Trade Organisation (WTO) negotiations to support the temporary waiving of protections, and work with the private sector and other partners to expand vaccine manufacturing and distribution.

WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus also welcomed the commitment shown by Joe Biden's administration to support the temporary waiver of intellectual property on COVID-19 vaccines.

"This is a monumental moment in the fight against COVID-19. The commitment by the President of the United States Joe Biden and Ambassador Katherine Tai, the US Trade Representative, to support the waiver of IP protections on vaccines is a powerful example of American leadership to address global health challenges," said Dr Tedros.

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