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While many are wondering and think that it would be good to make the manufacture of vaccines available to everyone, some countries prefer to oppose it, citing the lack of means and know-how of certain developing States.
On social networks, many Internet users are wondering about the lifting of patents for vaccines against Covid-19. “Why don’t we lift patents so that the world’s population has access to vaccines?”, asks someone on Twitter. Because it is actually very complicated to set up. This decision does not depend on the pharmaceutical industry, but on the World Trade Organization, the WTO, based in Geneva. A request was already made on October 15, 2020 by South Africa and India, since joined by nearly a hundred States.
The objective is to make the vaccine a common good. “The patent regime is an obstacle to access to care. Any medical discovery is absolutely useless if people do not have access to it”, considers the economist Philippe Batifoulier.
To lift patents, you need the unanimity of the 164 member countries of the WTO. Some countries such as Germany and Japan oppose it and prefer to send vaccine donations to countries in need. They believe that the lack of infrastructure in developing countries would prevent the production of vaccines.