China backs talks on intellectual property waiver for COVID vaccines

Drugmakers and some other governments opposed the idea, saying it will not solve global inoculation shortages


Reuters May 13, 2021
PHOTO: REUTERS

China's Commerce Ministry spokesperson Gao Feng said on Thursday that Beijing supports a proposal by the World Trade Organization for an intellectual property protection waiver on COVID-19 vaccines to enter the consultation stage.

British and European Union officials have been sceptical about the usefulness of a US proposal to waive patent protections for COVID-19 vaccines, while saying they are prepared to discuss it.

Drugmakers and some other governments opposed the idea, saying it would not solve global inoculation shortages.

Read more: China says it is open to India and others joining COVID-19 conference

"China supports the WTO's proposal on IP exemptions for anti-epidemic materials such as the COVID vaccine to enter the text consultation stage," Gao said at a regular news conference in Beijing.

"China will work with all parties to actively participate in consultations and jointly promote a balanced and effective solution," he said.

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