“Monumental Moment”: U.S. Backs Waiving COVID Vaccine Patent Rights After Months of Blocking Talks

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.AMY GOODMAN: In what the World Health Organization is describing as a “monumental moment,” the Biden administration has announced it now supports temporarily waiving the intellectual property rights for COVID vaccines. India and South Africa first proposed the waiver in October, but the United States and other wealthy nations blocked the World Trade Organization from even opening negotiations on the proposal. Supporters of the waiver say it critically needed to gear up the production level of vaccines for the Global South as the pandemic rapidly spreads in India, Latin America and other areas where few vaccines…

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As Global Pandemic Worsens, U.S. Keeps Blocking Vaccine Patent Waivers Amid Big Pharma Lobbying

Big Pharma has hired an army of lobbyists to pressure U.S. lawmakers to block an effort at the World Trade Organization to loosen intellectual property rules on COVID-19 vaccines, which would allow countries around the world to ramp up production, vaccinate more people and bring the pandemic to an end sooner. Dozens of countries from the Global South, led by India and South Africa, are demanding a temporary waiver on vaccine patents, but rich countries, including the U.S. under both the Trump and Biden administrations, have opposed the move. Lee Fang, investigative journalist at The Intercept, says there is a “glut” of vaccines going to wealthy countries while…

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World’s Poorest Nations Face Setback as India Suspends Vaccine Exports Amid Fight over Patent Rights

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.AMY GOODMAN: We begin today’s show with the urgent push to ensure equal access to COVID-19 vaccines for all nations, rich and poor, and growing calls for Big Pharma to waive their patent rights. As Christians around the world marked Easter Sunday, Italy moved up midnight Masses to meet a 10 p.m. curfew amidst a spike in COVID cases. And Pope Francis used his Easter Mass address at St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican to warn against vaccine nationalism. POPE FRANCIS: [translated] In the spirit of an internationalism of vaccines, I urge the entire international community…

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U.S. & Other Wealthy Nations Block Effort to Waive Vaccine Patent Rights in Blow to Global South

The United States and other wealthy members of the World Trade Organization have blocked a push by dozens of developing countries to waive patent rights in an effort to boost production of COVID-19 vaccines for poor nations. The proposal by South Africa and India was supported by hundreds of civil society organizations, including Doctors Without Borders, Oxfam and Amnesty International. Without the waiver, vaccine production will remain in the hands of only a few pharmaceutical companies. “Millions of us are basically going to have to wait for a vaccine, putting global immunity, as well as regional immunity, particularly in Africa, at severe risk,” says South African activist Fatima…

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Would You Patent the Sun? Polio Vaccine Inventor Jonas Salk’s Son Urges More Access to COVD Vaccine

The total number of deaths from COVID-19 in the U.S. is set to top 400,000 before Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20, but rollout of coronavirus vaccines has been slow, with many describing a vexing amount of red tape standing between them and the shot. We look at the development and distribution of another vaccine during the polio epidemic in the 1950s with Dr. Peter Salk, a physician and professor of infectious diseases and microbiology at the University of Pittsburgh, whose father, Dr. Jonas Salk, developed the first polio vaccine and famously declined to patent his invention. “The rest of the world and the countries that are less…

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