Discussions over a controversial World Trade Organization waiver on intellectual property related to COVID vaccines, treatments and other tools, have become more “constructive” said a senior WTO spokesman on Thursday, in a press briefing on the first day of the WTO’s two-day General Council meeting.  There has been a “subtle shifting in the direction of […] Continue reading ->
World Trade Organization Director General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has ” high hopes” that the WTO Ministerial Conference (MC12) that convenes at the end of November can deliver decisions that curb harmful fisheries subsidies as well as improving access of low- and middle-income countries to COVID medicines and vaccines.  But WTO members must overcome a series of […] Continue reading ->
The World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) Council for Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) remains deadlocked on the “fundamental question” of whether a waiver on intellectual property rights of COVID-related products is the best way to address equitable vaccine access during the pandemic. This is according to a draft oral status report adopted at Tuesday’s […] Continue reading ->
The World Trade Organization (WTO) Secretariat has issued a list of bottlenecks and trade-facilitating measures on critical COVID-19 products, ahead of Wednesday’s  High-Level Dialogue between itself and the World Health Organization (WHO) on how to expand COVID-19 vaccines manufacturing to ensure equitable access. “One common theme that emerges from the list is that essential goods […] Continue reading ->
Africa could start producing its own cutting-edge COVID-19 vaccines within a year via an mRNA technology transfer hub that is being set up in South Africa, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced on Monday. But the speed at which the new hub may be able to swing into full-scale vaccine production depends on whether pharmaceutical […] Continue reading ->
Proponents of a sweeping World Trade Organization ‘waiver’ on intellectual property rights for all COVID-19 treatments, tests and vaccines face an uphill battle to reach consensus on a text ahead of a WTO General Council meeting scheduled for 27-28 July.  This is despite the recent agreement of the initiative’s opponents, including the European Union, Korea, […] Continue reading ->
In preparation for the next pandemic, the COVAX global vaccine facility “needs a pot of money, where they can be early movers” in competing for, and securing, vaccine doses. That could help scenarios like the ones seen recently, in which rich countries cornered the market on the first available COVID-19 vaccines, leading to severe shortages […] Continue reading ->
World Trade Organization’s (WTO) director general Ngozi Onkonjo-Iweala on Thursday hailed the United States government’s decision to support the suspension of intellectual property rules on COVID-19 vaccines – while also emphasising the urgency of even more immediate actions to increase vaccine supplies to lower-income countries.   In a statement after a two-day closed-door WTO General […] Continue reading ->
The United States has swung its weight behind a hotly-debated proposal by India and South Africa to suspend intellectual property rights on COVID-19 vaccines for the duration of the pandemic. The dramatic turnabout in the US position, announced Wednesday evening by US Trade Representative Katherine Tai, signals a sea change in the balance of powers […] Continue reading ->