Global Pandemic Will Rage Until WTO Approves Vaccine Patent Waiver | Joseph Stiglitz

Since October 2020, a large number of WTO member countries have sought a temporary waiver of the organization’s expansive intellectual property restrictions, which limit the production of vaccines, treatments and diagnostic tests to certain pharmaceutical companies. But a few WTO members have blocked this initiative, which is needed to ensure sufficient supply of Covid-19 medicines to inoculate the world and end the variant cycle that otherwise will indefinitely prolong the pandemic.The WTO must not postpone this decision. It needs to call an online meeting of its General Council and adopt the waiver this week.While citizens in wealthy countries are already on to their boosters, fewer than 7% in low-income countries have even had their first shot.As the Omicron variant shows, as long as there are raging outbreaks anywhere, Covid-19 will mutate and the possibility of more infectious or deadly strains increases. That’s why, unless people everywhere are vaccinated, we face the prospect of an endless pandemic.

Source: Opinion | Global Pandemic Will Rage Until WTO Approves Vaccine Patent Waiver | Joseph Stiglitz

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