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Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Biden administration backs IP waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

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The Biden administration on Wednesday threw its support behind waiving intellectual property protections for COVID-19 vaccines.

“The administration believes strongly in intellectual property protections, but in service of ending this pandemic, supports the waiver of those protections for COVID-19 vaccines,” U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai said in a statement.

President Biden said he planned to speak about the issue later Wednesday.

Ms. Tai said the administration will work with the World Trade Organization, which is meeting this week, to make it happen while cautioning that the process will take time.

Congressional Democrats had pressed Mr. Biden to throw his support behind granting such a waiver, saying it would help accelerate the distribution and supply of COVID-19 vaccines around the globe.

Major companies, including vaccine makers Pfizer, BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, have expressed concerns that such waivers could harm the safety of the vaccines.

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