EU opposes US over vaccine rights waiver

Photo: EPA Charles Michel

The European Union stepped up its criticism to US related to calls to waive intellectual rights on production of Covid-19 vaccines, AP reported. On the second day of the EU summit in Porto the European Council President Charles Michel said that the initiative of US president Joe Biden to give for free the patent rights to poor countries will have a very limited impact and will not boost the global jabs rollout. Instead, Michel voiced concern over the US and UK approach that block exports to complete first the vaccination of their nation and thus delay the rollout of the global vaccination.

“We don’t think, in the short term, that it’s the magic bullet,” said EU Council President Charles Michel. He then joined previous EU calls for U.S. President Joe Biden to start boosting US vaccine exports to contain the global Covid-19 crisis, insisting it was the most urgent need. “We encourage all the partners to facilitate the export of vaccine doses,” said Michel.

While the US has kept a tight lid on exports of American-made vaccines so it can vaccinate its own population first, and the UK has acted similarly, the EU has become the world’s leading provider, allowing about as many doses to go outside the 27-nation bloc as are kept for its 446 million inhabitants. The EU has distributed about 200 million doses within the bloc while about the same amount has been exported abroad to almost 90 countries.

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