Merkel firm against lifting vaccine patents

German Chancellor Angela Merkel remains opposed to lifting patent protections on vaccinations against Covid-19, government sources said on Thursday, ahead of the G7 summit, dpa reported. The G7 summit is to be held in Cornwall, England, from Friday to Sunday.

At the summit G7 leaders are expected to agree to join forces to end the pandemic and strengthen health care systems worldwide to counter future outbreaks. However, Merkel continues to oppose easing patent protections, arguing that this would not be helpful, as patents are not slowing down global vaccination production. "There has been no change in the German position," German government officials said.

Debate continues about how to give poorer countries access to vaccines after repeated warnings on the inequity between richer and poorer countries. However, Germany and other European countries have opposed talk of lifting patent protections, arguing this would discourage private companies from investing the resources needed to come up with something like a coronavirus vaccine.

On possible additional donations of vaccines to poorer countries, the government sources said Germany had already done a lot in the area and was "one of the big supporters."

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