“Waiving patents for Covid vaccines would harm innovation, strip European researchers of their intellectual property, fail to produce a single additional dose in the short-term, and reduce immediately available quantities of vaccines. Bottleneck is not, first of all, knowledge, but production capacities, the availability of raw materials, supply chains and qualified personnel,” said EPP Group MEP Sven Simon, responsible for the topic, as MEPs vote today on waiving patents for Covid vaccines, the so-called Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).

Opposing the waving of patents for Covid vaccines, Sven Simon noted that the 46 least developed countries in the world are already exempt from the provisions of the TRIPS agreement in the pharmaceutical sector until the year 2033, and that none of them has so far built up their own production capacities.

“Of course we all want the world to be vaccinated as fast as possible. But contrary to the Left, that wants to engage in a symbolic debate on this 'false good idea', we propose to do the following: first, we must lift all export restrictions on vaccines and all raw materials that are required for vaccine production. Joe Biden can make nice declarations, but, so far, the United States has been stocking vaccines and has hardly exported any of them at all. This situation must change,” said Christophe Hansen MEP, EPP Group Spokesman on International Trade.

“We also must invest in the vaccine production capacity of the developing countries and make surplus supplies of vaccines resulting from surplus orders available to emerging and developing states as soon as possible. On all of these points, we support last Friday’s proposal from the European Commission seeking the commitment of the World Trade Organization (WTO) to expand the production of Covid vaccines and treatments. This is the right way forward,” concluded Sven Simon.

NOTE TO EDITORS

The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 178 Members from all EU Member States

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