European Council President Charles Michel said on Saturday that the European Union is skeptical about the utility of breaking patents for a vaccine against COVID-19 to tackle the pandemic, but is ready to discuss a concrete proposal.
Speaking to journalists before the second day of the European Union summit in Porto, Michel said that the way to fight the epidemic at the present time is to quickly manufacture more vaccines and lift export restrictions on them in countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom, they produce vaccines, but they do not sell them to countries Other.
“In Europe we have taken a decision to make exports possible and we encourage all partners to facilitate the export of doses,” Michel said after discussions with leaders of blocs from 27 countries.
India and South Africa last year defended the patent infringement of the vaccine as a way to boost production and ensure the world would be served. The controversy over the issue gained momentum on Wednesday, when US President Joe Biden backed the idea, as long as it passed through the World Trade Organization.
Skeptics say the time it will take in the WTO agreement and building greater capacity to produce vaccines will mean this patent infringement will not be a quick fix.
“As far as intellectual property is concerned – we don’t think, in the short term, that it is a silver bullet, but we are ready to discuss it as soon as a concrete proposal comes up,” said Michel.
(Written by Jan Stropchevsky in Brussels and Sibel de la Hamide in Paris)
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