Europe Pushes Alternative to Waiving Patents on Covid-19 Vaccines



Saeed Shah, Gabriele Steinhauser | The Wall Street Journal

The European Union is pushing back hard against U.S.-backed calls to temporarily waive intellectual property rights for Covid-19 vaccines, preparing a rival plan that officials said would better safeguard drug companies’ patents and look for other ways to boost supplies for developing countries.

As the gap between vaccine haves and have-nots has widened, Washington and China have endorsed a proposal by developing countries at the World Trade Organization to suspend patent protections for the immunizations.

Brussels’ alternative plan would lift export restrictions on vaccines and their raw materials, expand manufacturing capacity around the world, and make it easier for countries to use existing rules to override patents in some cases, according to documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

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