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Why Moderna, Pfizer and the NIH debate who owns the Covid vaccine


Since the last time we updated this page, it’s been over one year. landmark proposalThe issue of patent waiver on the mRNA Covid vaccination has been brought to public attention. Many observers aren’t convinced that waiving intellectual property rights (IP) on Covid vaccines will be an effective method to stop the epidemic.

Advocates of patent waivers such as Harsha Thirumurthy (associate professor of medical ethics at Penn) argue that the problem lies at the root of why vaccines have been less widely available in low-income countries.

Thirumurthy said that “it limits how many manufacturing can be done of that product/that vaccine.” He also stated that the price is artificially high, which limits other countries’ ability to produce the same products.

Critics counter that patent waivers do not necessarily lead to an increase in global vaccine distribution.

Bill Gates (co-founder of Microsoft) was also among the people who originally spoke outThe patent waiver was opposed by Gates, who emphasized that there were other issues than patents and that they must be resolved first. Gates changed his mind and now supports temporarily waiving patent protections for coronavirus vaccine patents.

Heath Naquin is vice president of capital engagement and government at University City Science Center in Philadelphia. “Having one billion vaccines in the warehouse of a laboratory that’s still developing won’t do any good getting us back on track,” he said.

“The patent waiver doesn’t solve those core issues in many of the developing countries. These aren’t related to the recipe. They are connected to the process you use to get it out to people.”

Experts from both sides seriously question whether there will be a waiver patent on Covid-19 vaccinations.

Thirumurthy said that “I feel we had the best chance of it last year, when there were a proposal at the WTO. The Biden administration supported it.”

“But there were European countries who objected at those patent waivers.

You can watch the video and learn more about vaccine patents, their purpose and how they impact the Covid pandemic.