April 15, 2024

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Human Rights Watch: “The United States and Germany Should Share mRNA Technology with the Rest of the World” |  Corona virus what you need to know

Human Rights Watch: “The United States and Germany Should Share mRNA Technology with the Rest of the World” | Corona virus what you need to know

In a new study, Human Rights Watch (HRW) has proposed a list of more than 100 companies in Africa, Asia and South America that could produce mRNA vaccines. Now only pharmaceutical companies in the United States and Germany have a monopoly on the knowledge and technology to develop a life-saving Corona vaccine. Human Rights Watch calls on the two countries to share this knowledge with other manufacturers in order to combat global disparities in vaccines.

Read all about the corona virus in this file.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), low-income countries had received barely 0.6 percent of the vaccines distributed worldwide by the end of November. Thus, inequality of vaccine delivery remains a major problem. “The United States and Germany should not let companies dictate where and how life-saving vaccines and treatments reach the world as the virus mutates,” said Aruna Kashyap, business and human rights director at Human Rights Watch.

The coordinator of AccessIBSA, an organization that works on medicines for all, and a vaccine expert from Doctors Without Borders has compiled a list of more than 100 plants in Africa, Asia and South America that, like German and American pharmaceutical giants, have the capacity to produce mRNA vaccines. According to Achal Prabhala of AccessIBSA, these companies could bridge the growing vaccine gap between countries if the US and Germany end their monopoly on knowledge.

Human Rights Watch wants the countries concerned to make vaccines available by not prohibiting the assignment of trade-related intellectual property rights to the World Health Organization. A waiver of the TRIPS Agreement would allow countries to temporarily suspend some intellectual property rights in order to produce life-saving medical devices against the coronavirus, such as vaccines.

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The European Commission and many other countries prohibit the temporary suspension of patents. On the other hand, the European Parliament, the United States, the World Health Organization and all developing countries, along with South Africa and India, are the initiators behind the exemption.

Margaret Worth, principal investigator at Human Rights Watch, concluded that “world leaders have repeatedly promised solidarity and cooperation with the international community and a smart approach to the coronavirus pandemic. They urgently need to deliver on those promises.”

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