UCI News

Speed the jab

Project Syndicate, May 27, 2021

May 27, 2021

Speed the jab

In response to intensifying political pressure, US President Joe Biden’s administration now supports a waiver of intellectual-property rights for COVID-19 vaccines for the duration of the pandemic. But an IP waiver, although urgently needed to reduce suffering in low-income countries, may not be enough to accelerate the fight against the coronavirus. … Michele Goodwin, [Chancellor’s Professor of law], and Gregory Shaffer, [Chancellor’s Professor of law], of the University of California, Irvine agree that a temporary IP waiver by itself will not widen vaccine access – because the main obstacle is trade secrets, not patents – but say that the threat of one could help catalyze mass production for low- and middle-income countries.