In what could be a major gamechanger in the fight to secure the widest possible global access to COVID-19 vaccines , the Biden administration has signaled that it will push through negotiations in the WTO to lift intellectual property protection for the vaccines

United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai today released a statement announcing the Biden-Harris Administration’s support for waiving intellectual property protections for COVID-19 vaccines.

The full statement is as follows:

“This is a global health crisis, and the extraordinary circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic call for extraordinary measures.  The Administration believes strongly in intellectual property protections, but in service of ending this pandemic, supports the waiver of those protections for COVID-19 vaccines. We will actively participate in text-based negotiations at the World Trade Organization (WTO) needed to make that happen. Those negotiations will take time given the consensus-based nature of the institution and the complexity of the issues involved.

“The Administration’s aim is to get as many safe and effective vaccines to as many people as fast as possible.  As our vaccine supply for the American people is secured, the Administration will continue to ramp up its efforts – working with the private sector and all possible partners – to expand vaccine manufacturing and distribution.  It will also work to increase the raw materials needed to produce those vaccines.”

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Tweet from @AmbassadorTai:

These extraordinary times and circumstances of call for extraordinary measures.

The US supports the waiver of IP protections on COVID-19 vaccines to help end the pandemic and we’ll actively participate in @WTO negotiations to make that happen.

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