WHO welcomed Joe Biden's support for a COVID-19 vaccine patent suspension

WHO welcomed Joe Biden’s support for a COVID-19 vaccine patent suspension

The director general of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, celebrated on Thursday the express support of the US president, Joe Biden, for a suspension of patents on vaccines against the coronavirus, something he considered “key in the fight against COVID-19”.

Biden’s announcement, thus supporting a proposal submitted in October 2020 by India and South Africa that for months has encountered opposition among developed countries, “is a great example of American leadership in tackling global health challenges”, Highlighted Tedros.

“I’m not surprised by the announcement, It is what I expected from the Administration of President Biden“Added the director general of the WHO, an organization that the previous occupant of the White House, Donald Trump, had threatened to leave last year but that with the presidential change has normalized its ties with Washington.

I congratulate the United States on this historic decision to achieve equality in vaccines and prioritize the well-being of all at critical times.“Added the director general of the WHO in a statement.

Joe Biden speaks after a visit to Pfizer's vaccine factory in Kalamazoo, Michigan (REUTERS / Tom Brenner)

Joe Biden speaks after a visit to Pfizer’s vaccine factory in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

The government of President Biden on Wednesday expressed its support for the patent suspension proposal that has been debated for months in the World Trade Organization (WTO), and that South Africa and India announced a few hours before that they would modify slightly.

Biden’s announcement was greeted with sharp falls in pharmaceutical stocks Pfizer and BioNTech, as well as Moderna and Novavax on the Wall Street Stock Exchange. This Thursday, the federation of companies in the sector expressed its rejection of the proposal.

India and South Africa, supported by many developing countries, defend the suspension of patents on vaccines, tests and treatments against COVID-19 so that these drugs can be produced more and in more countries and this facilitates the fight against the pandemic.

His proposal had been rejected in recent months not only by the United States but also by other economies with large pharmaceutical companies (EU, United Kingdom, Switzerland, etc.), who argued that this suspension of patents would slow down the research that has precisely managed to develop vaccines in so many years.

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