The Issue: As the world enters the second year of the pandemic, vaccine production is in full swing. Many countries have entered the race of vaccine production, and with kind of mass production, patents follow. A disparity has been seen among first world countries with high percentages of vaccinated population and third world countries that struggle to access vaccination supplies. Pharmaceutical companies have argued that secrecy is the way to keep vaccine production efforts in full swing. Lawmakers in big pharma are fighting to keep vaccine ‘recipes’ protected.
The vaccine patent ‘waiver’ : The idea of a vaccine patent ‘waiver had been proposed for a while, but it seems to have been delayed. U.S lawmakers, nonprofits and others have urged President Joe Biden to back the ‘moral’ patent waiver in order to give multiple smaller companies to reproduce the vaccine in larger amounts for emergency use around the world. India’s COVID vaccine ‘COVAX’ has reached multiple third world countries namely Ghana, Columbia and The Ivory Coast.
The Reaction: Public reaction has criticised the governments of the West, for not being more proactive in providing access to other countries. It has been said that countries should follow the example of the ‘COVAX’ vaccine in order to ensure the entire world is on an equal standing.
Doctors Beyond Borders and WHO have said that vaccines must be made more accessible if we don’t want the repeat of India’s mutation struggle around the world. Public reaction has also criticized rich the ‘West’ for hindering vaccine access on a global scale.