Covid vaccine patent waiver at WTO hailed in South Africa

The  government of South Africa, local vaccine manufacturers and the organised labour sector have welcomed the agreement at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) that developing countries can began’s producing their own vaccines without permission from the patent holders.

South Africa and India first proposed the measures at the WTO, with support from a number of other developing countries.

The discussions at the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference in Geneva were triggered by a joint proposal by South Africa and India in October 2020 for a time-bound and particular waiver of certain provisions of the Trade-related Intellectual Property Rights agreement (TRIPS) administered by the WTO, to allow manufacturers in developing countries to produce vaccines without the patent holder’s consent.

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