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COVID-19: Pope Francis backs vaccine patents waiver

News Agencies | Updated on: 9 May 2021, 11:25 IST

Pope Francis has backed growing calls for a patent waiver for coronavirus vaccines in a video message for a public concert on Saturday.

Pope has called for "universal access to vaccines and the temporary suspension" of intellectual property rights, CNN reported.

This comes after the United States extended its support for waiving intellectual property protections on vaccines to help end the pandemic. Other countries and blocs including European Union too have shown willingness to discuss the temporary waiver of patents.

India and South Africa had proposed a TRIPS waiver at the WTO last year, recently US President Joe Biden-led administration had lent support to the waiver. The EU however has not taken a position and does not see it as a "magic solution".

The WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) is a comprehensive multilateral agreement on intellectual property.

Global advocacy groups argue that waiving patents for vaccines could help expand narrow the vaccination gap between rich and poor nations.


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First published: 9 May 2021, 11:25 IST