Under this scenario, will the patent waiver still be useful?
“We should also not forget that Covid-19 has still not been eradicated. People, despite being vaccinated, get infected though symptoms are not fatal and in very few cases, require hospitalization. Hence despite the fact that cases have gone down, our aim should be to vaccinate the entire population of the world and the same is more important when borders are open now,” explained Govind.
However, he said it will take months to develop the processes and commercialize them. This means that despite the patent waiver, the world may have to wait some time to see its actual effect.
The approved waiver is applicable only on vaccines. WTO discussions regarding the waiver on therapeutics and diagnostics have been postponed for six months.
“As the pandemic is not over yet, WTO should redouble their efforts and commence talks on therapeutics and diagnostics as soon as possible,” said Govind.
The waiver, which has been revised since its submission, is backed by more than 100 countries. Among these are the United States, France, China, Russia and Australia.
Espie Angelica A. de Leon