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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

Warsaw calls for vaccine patent waiver

09.05.2021 12:35
Poland's prime minister on Saturday said  that his country promotes the idea of Covid-19 vaccine patent waiver in the European Union.  
PM Mateusz Morawiecki interviewed at the EU summit in Porto, Portugal,  May 8, 2021
PM Mateusz Morawiecki interviewed at the EU summit in Porto, Portugal, May 8, 2021Photo: PAP / Mateusz Marek

Mateusz Morawiecki  noted that he would strive to convince rich countries to make patents for COVID-19 vaccines available to others, which should boost the EU’s vaccine production capacities. He was speaking during a Social Summit meeting and an informal European Council sitting in Porto, Portugal where EU leaders were discussing social issues, welfare, equality, jobs and education as the 27-nation bloc emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Reuters news agency reported.

“I absolutely do endorse releasing patents, making the patents public, ramping up production of all vaccines that may be produced in the EU in a safe way,” Morawiecki said on Saturday as reported by the Polish News Agency (PAP).

"Poland wants companies, which have appropriate production capacities in Europe, in the EU, to fully use them," Morawiecki added.

The Polish PM admitted that EU leaders had been divided with regard to vaccine patents and “held a heated debate” on the Covid-19 vaccination process in Europe.

In a reversal of Washington's position, US President Joe Biden on Wednesday voiced support for waiving intellectual property rights for coronavirus vaccines.

Europe on Saturday passed the ball back to Washington in the debate, pushing the US for a concrete proposal and a commitment to export much-needed jabs.

The EU has already become the world’s leading Covid-19 vaccine provider, allowing about as many doses to go outside the 27-nation bloc as are kept for its nearly 450 million inhabitants. The EU has distributed about 200 million doses within the bloc while about the same amount had been exported abroad to almost 90 countries.

(mo)

Source: IAR, PAP, Reuters