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Bill Gates rejected a proposal to waive patent restrictions on “Covid-19” vaccines, saying he did not believe intellectual property had anything to do with the prolonged global effort to curb the epidemic.
The vaccines developed by giant pharmaceutical companies such as “Pfizer” and “Moderna”, enjoy global protection within the framework of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Given the scarcity of medicines, there have been increasing calls from countries such as India and South Africa, international aid organizations and public figures, to waive this protection so that poor countries can better access medicines.
However, Bill Gates, one of the most recognizable figures in the global vaccination campaign, seems to think it’s a bad idea. When asked by Sophie Ridge of Sky News whether stripping intellectual property protection of vaccine prescriptions would be beneficial, the Microsoft founder replied, “No,” for sure.
He explained, “The thing holding things back in this case is not intellectual property. It’s not like there is an inactive vaccine manufacturer, with regulatory approval, magically making safe vaccines. You know, you have to do an experiment on these things. You have to look at every process.” Manufacture very carefully. “
Citing his foundation’s experience in helping to regulate vaccine production in developing countries like India, Gates said the fact that poor countries would likely have a chance to get supplies from rich countries once their populations were immunized, was a success. He pointed out that “it usually takes a decade in the field of global health between the arrival of the vaccine in the rich world and its entry into the poor countries.”
Gates speaks as if all lives lost in India are inevitable, but the West will ultimately help when the United States and the United Kingdom are in fact standing in the neck of developing countries by refusing to break the TRIPS protection. It’s disgusting.
– Tara Van Ho (Doctor) (TaraVanHo) April 25, 2021
Both Gates and his foundation have long been advocates of intellectual property protection, and critics are now accusing Gates of deliberately squandering an opportunity to help reshape how intellectual property works for the greater public good. The COVID-19 ACT-Accelerator, supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, aims to provide “fair access” to anti-COVID tools – but it also respects exclusive intellectual property rights.
Meanwhile, Gates appears to be ignoring an alternative solution, known as the Covid-19 Technology Access Pool, or C-TAP, which would combine open source technologies on how to deal with the pandemic.
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