Ten US senators propose to Biden to support the proposal by India and South Africa to obtain a TRIPS waiver of Covid vaccines at the WTO

Up to 10 US Senators have called on US President Joe Biden to support India and South Africa’s proposal to the WTO to temporarily remove certain intellectual property barriers and allow countries to manufacture COVID-19 diagnostics and vaccines locally .

The Senators, including Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, wrote a letter asking for a temporary waiver to ensure the effective and efficient response to this “one time” global pandemic.

The Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of the Intellectual Property Rights Exemption (TRIPS) proposed by India and South Africa in October 2020 would temporarily lift certain intellectual property barriers and allow countries to provide COVID-19 diagnostics, treatments and vaccines on-site to produce, it says in the letter.

“If countries can produce locally, it will accelerate access to vaccines and treatments, prevent unnecessary deaths, accelerate global vaccination efforts, and enable stronger and faster economic recovery,” it said.

This exemption is vital to ensuring adequate volume and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, which is why the exemption is supported by more than 100 nations, including the United States economy, can recover from the pandemic.

The senators pleaded for the waiver, saying: “Regardless of our (US) vaccination efforts here in the US, we cannot fight COVID-19 successfully without supporting the efforts of other countries in our collective fight against this virus.”

“If countries don’t work together and share medical technology, then for many countries – especially developing countries – there will simply not be adequate supplies of vaccines, diagnostics and treatments to effectively manage COVID-19.”

In addition to Sanders and Warren, Tammy Baldwin, Sherrod Brown, Richard Blumenthal, Chris Murphy, Jeffrey Merkley, Edward Markey, Chris Van Hollen, and Raphael Warnock are the other Senators who wrote the letter.

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