Why the debate over Moderna, Pfizer and the National Institutes of Health who owns the Covid vaccine

It has been more than a year since a Historic suggestion The spotlight has come to light on the issue of the patent waiver of the mRNA Covid vaccine. But many observers do not see ceding intellectual property rights to Covid vaccines as an effective way to end the pandemic.

Proponents of patent waivers, such as Harsha Thirumurthy, associate professor of medical ethics and health policy at the University of Pennsylvania, argue that the issue lies at the heart of why vaccines are so difficult to obtain in low-income countries.

“It limits the amount of manufacturing that this product or that vaccine can have,” Thirumurthy said, adding that it keeps the price “artificially high enough that it limits the capacity of other countries in the world.”

But critics object that waiving patents will not automatically improve global vaccine distribution.

Bill Gates, one of the founders of Microsoft, was among them originally spoken Against waiver of patents, emphasizing that there are problems outside of patents that must be addressed first. Gates later changed his stance and is now fully in favor of temporarily waiving protections over coronavirus vaccine patents.

“Having a billion vaccines in a lab repository that are being developed is not going to do any good in getting us back to normal,” said Heath Nakin, vice president of government and equity capital at City University Science Center, a nonprofit research organization, in Philadelphia. .

“Waiver of a patent in and of itself doesn’t really solve those fundamental issues in many developing countries, which are not about the recipe, it’s related to the way you can get that out the door for people.”

However, experts on both sides are seriously skeptical whether the patent waiver of Covid-19 vaccines will ever happen.

“I think we had the best hope of that last year when there was a proposal that was put forward at the World Trade Organization and endorsed by the Biden administration,” Thirumurthy said.

But we’ve had European countries object to these patent exemptions.

Watch the video to learn more about why vaccines are patented and the ongoing debate about their impact on the Covid pandemic.


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