Waive Covid vaccine patents: Nearly 100 former world leaders, Nobel winners join call to Biden

WION Web Team
Washington, United States Published: Apr 15, 2021, 05:41 PM(IST)

(File Photo) US President Joe Biden Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

Former leaders of France and the UK, other 60 former heads of state and over 100 Nobel Prize winners have drafted a joint letter to Biden about this issue

More than 100 former world leaders and Nobel Prize winners have come together to urge US President Joe Biden to support a waiver of intellectual property rules for coronavirus vaccines.

Such a waiver on patents will boost vaccine manufacturing and will also speed up the response to this global pandemic, especially in poor countries, they said.

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"President Biden has said that no one is safe until everyone is safe, and now with the G7 ahead there is an unparalleled opportunity to provide the leadership that only the US can provide,"  former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said.

Former leaders of France and the UK, other 60 former heads of state and Nobel Prize winners have drafted a joint letter to Biden about this issue.

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They urged Biden to support the proposal drafted by India and South Africa at the World Trade Organization to waive intellectual property rules on a temporary basis to help support countries related to COVID-19 vaccines.

The letter calculates that the poorer countries will have to wait till 2024 to receive vaccines, on the basis of the speed with which the virus is mutating.

"New mutations of the virus will continue to cost lives and upend our interconnected global economy until everyone, everywhere has access to a safe and effective vaccine," Nobel Economics Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz said.

The letter has been signed by Francois Hollande, Mary Robinson, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Juan Manuel Santos and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf - formerly presidents of France, Ireland, Brazil, Colombia and Liberia - and former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark.

(With inputs from agencies)

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