CEPI Head Says Intellectual Property Waiver for COVID-19 Products Not Necessary
The head of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) says a proposed World Trade Organization intellectual property waiver for COVID-19 medical products is not needed to increase availability to populations in poor countries.
The “waiver may have a role in that, but there are other paths to pursue, too, and we really need to explore all of them,” said Richard Hatchett, head of CEPI, during an expert panel at the World Economic Forum. “I don’t think it’s necessary right now in terms of making vaccines available. I think it’s the last option.”
Hatchett said countries need to shore up logistical and medical resources on the ground to facilitate vaccinating their citizens once the supply arrives, which has been an issue.
He noted that World Health Organization’s (WHO) COVAX program — which his organization manages with the WHO — has thus far delivered 1 billion doses to poor countries.