Four WTO Members Agree to Waive COVID-19 Vaccine Patents
Four World Trade Organization (WTO) members — the European Union, South Africa, India and the U.S. — agreed this week to waive intellectual property rights for the production of COVID-19 vaccines.
The document outlining their compromise, a year-and-a-half in the making, indicates that the agreement only covers vaccines for now, but could later be extended to therapies and diagnostics for COVID-19.
The four WTO members said they intend to implement the agreement no later than September 2022.
WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said that she hopes the agreement will eventually include all 164 WTO member countries.