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U.S. backs waiving patent protections for Covid vaccines, citing global health crisis

 

The Biden administration announced Wednesday that it supports waiving intellectual property protections for Covid-19 vaccines, as countries struggle to manufacture the life-saving doses.

 

“This is a global health crisis, and the extraordinary circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic call for extraordinary measures. The Administration believes strongly in intellectual property protections, but in service of ending this pandemic, supports the waiver of those protections for COVID-19 vaccines,” United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai wrote in a statement.

 

“As our vaccine supply for the American people is secured, the Administration will continue to ramp up its efforts — working with the private sector and all possible partners — to expand vaccine manufacturing and distribution. It will also work to increase the raw materials needed to produce those vaccines,” the statement added.

 

The World Health Organization’s director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, praised the U.S. decision as a “monumental moment in the fight against Covid-19” that reflects the “moral leadership” of the White House in the fight to end the pandemic.

 

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A counter argument to the IP waiver

 

https://www.pharmaceutical-technology.com/features/wto-ip-waiver-proposal-covid19-vaccine/

 

Quote

Will a WTO IP waiver resolve Covid-19 vaccine access issues?


The arguments made by the representatives from South Africa and India at the WTO stated: “Given this present context of global emergency, it is important for WTO Members to work together to ensure that intellectual property rights…. do not create barriers to the timely access to affordable medical products including vaccines. There are several reports about intellectual property rights hindering or potentially hindering timely provisioning of affordable medical products to the patients.”

 

MSF supports this argument. MSF international president Christos Christou said in a release: “The waiver proposal offers all governments opportunities to take action for better collaboration in development, production and supply of Covid-19 medical tools without being restricted by private industry’s interests and actions, and crucially would give governments all available tools to ensure global access.”

 

Although Silverstein notes that an IP waiver may help to improve access, he emphasised that is not “the silver bullet that it is generally regarded as”.

“It is not so much the blueprints for these vaccines that is the real barrier here; there are many more barriers” to access, says Silverstein.

 

This is because these are complicated products to manufacture and so the IP waiver wouldn’t just “flip a switch” to allow manufacturers across the world to start producing the vaccines, explains Silverstein.

 

He makes an analogy with Elon Musk’s Space X rockets. The patents Elon Musk has regarding his spaceships “are not what is keeping me as an individual or my firm from making rockets. We need specialised equipment; we need trained personnel and we need the infrastructure to support it.”

 

What are the alternatives?


Instead, Silverstein argues there is a need for companies to partner up to maximise their manufacturing capacity. This IP waiver threat is “further motivation to do everything in their power to partner with competitors to invest in increased infrastructure and manufacturing” capacity. This approach is more appealing to companies than unilateral stripping of their IP.

 

They should be supported in doing this by governments, according to Silverstein. He cites the example of the US Government’s move to get Merck and J&J to the negotiating table regarding vaccine manufacturing.

 

At a Chatham House conference, IFPMA and another industry association, the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), among other stakeholders, agreed there was a need to increase manufacturing through technology transfer and partnerships between various companies.

 

IP waiver is a tool to consider.  But it is definitely a blunt tool that could have far reaching ramifications in the future, especially in terms of willingness of private companies to invest in pandemic related R&D.

 

I wonder if IP waiver will be effective (knowing how to put together a nuclear bomb is a different matter from actually putting one together) and whether it is necessarily a superior solution to a more moderate approach such as brokering manufacturing partnerships or figuring out just compensation for mandatory licensing of those IP.  

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This is my issue with declaring that fully vaccinated people can go maskless in public: the anti-vaxxers don't wear masks now unless forced to so they can shop. So how are us fully vaccinated people able to rely on every maskless person they encounter is also fully vaccinated?

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Anyone else find themselves being judgey when they see friends on Facebook in certain pictures, places, etc or doing certain things during the pandemic that makes your eyebrow raise?  I’ve had one friend in particular who kept doing their bar life, traveling to places including now that are bad covid wise, etc. Yes they have been full Vax for about a month or more now but I don’t know.  At first I think they were really good doing virtual brunches and girls nights then it’s like she just had enough of it. 

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13 minutes ago, LadySkinsFan said:

This is my issue with declaring that fully vaccinated people can go maskless in public: the anti-vaxxers don't wear masks now unless forced to so they can shop. So how are us fully vaccinated people able to rely on every maskless person they encounter is also fully vaccinated?

At some point they have to assume the risk of not getting vaccinated. Why should I care what happens to them if they choose not to get vaccinated? Yes, you can still get it once you have been vaccinated but all vaccines are 100% against hospital and death. If I get a cold/flu for a few days and it means I dont have to wear this mask anymore bring it on. 

2 minutes ago, RichmondRedskin88 said:

Anyone else find themselves being judgey when they see friends on Facebook in certain pictures, places, etc or doing certain things during the pandemic that makes your eyebrow raise?  I’ve had one friend in particular who kept doing their bar life, traveling to places including now that are bad covid wise, etc. Yes they have been full Vax for about a month or more now but I don’t know.  At first I think they were really good doing virtual brunches and girls nights then it’s like she just had enough of it. 

 

If they are fully vaccinated they should be allowed to go and do things as normal. I went back to a movie theater 2 weeks ago. I went to Disney back in Feb. Both Wife and I have been vaccinated since late Jan early Feb. As I said above at some point we have to get back to normal. At some point people that refuse to get vaccinated they have to assume the risk of that.   

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Posted (edited)
48 minutes ago, just654 said:

At some point they have to assume the risk of not getting vaccinated. Why should I care what happens to them if they choose not to get vaccinated? Yes, you can still get it once you have been vaccinated but all vaccines are 100% against hospital and death. If I get a cold/flu for a few days and it means I dont have to wear this mask anymore bring it on. 

 

If they are fully vaccinated they should be allowed to go and do things as normal. I went back to a movie theater 2 weeks ago. I went to Disney back in Feb. Both Wife and I have been vaccinated since late Jan early Feb. As I said above at some point we have to get back to normal. At some point people that refuse to get vaccinated they have to assume the risk of that.   


I agree on the last part but we aren’t pass it right now.  Vaccine just gives you good odds of not catching it and even if you do that you did you won’t be likely to have the full effects. You can still spread to people who are trying to get vaccinated but haven’t yet.  Now given the particular friend I’m speaking of kept doing their thing straight through covid way before vaccines.  I also noticed other friends of mine doing wedding and what not indoors with no masks right in the middle covid with a bunch of people. Again when vaccines were barely starting to become available.  Covid has made me look at a few people different.  

Edited by RichmondRedskin88
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I feel we just about there. When states are now making walk up appointments and giving employees $100 to get the vaccine. We are at that point that people have to assume the risk. I would say give it the month of May and in June life needs to get back to normal. With schools and the NFL planning on full classrooms and stadiums come August that will be here before you know it. 

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1 hour ago, LadySkinsFan said:

This is my issue with declaring that fully vaccinated people can go maskless in public: the anti-vaxxers don't wear masks now unless forced to so they can shop. So how are us fully vaccinated people able to rely on every maskless person they encounter is also fully vaccinated?

 

At this point, it's not worth worrying too much - they are putting themselves at risk. Encountering them outdoors, odds are slim to none even if neither person is vaccinated - unless you're having a long conversation face to face, which I suspect you won't lol. Breakthrough cases are at like 1 in 10-11,000 right now, and even if we assume there's been some more asymptomatic breakthroughs unreported, it's still drastically low odds. So if you tell me I have a 99.99% chance of not experiencing symptomatic COVID-19 after vaccination, I'm not worried about unvaccinated people putting me at risk when I go out.

 

My only worry is one day they breed a variant that is actually immune-resistant vs. all the scariants in the headlines that aren't. But until that day comes I will do my best to get as many non-vaccinated people vaccinated as possible.

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17 hours ago, China said:


File this under policy actions that accomplish nothing. This is virtue signaling by the administration with negligible impact on global vaccine distribution. The choke point to vaccine production is supply chains and manufacturing capacity.

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2 hours ago, LadySkinsFan said:

This is my issue with declaring that fully vaccinated people can go maskless in public: the anti-vaxxers don't wear masks now unless forced to so they can shop. So how are us fully vaccinated people able to rely on every maskless person they encounter is also fully vaccinated?


Outdoor mask wearing was unnecessary even when people weren’t vaccinated. You won’t be catching COVID from people in ventilated, open outdoor spaces. 

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Posted (edited)

 

14 minutes ago, No Excuses said:


Outdoor mask wearing was unnecessary even when people weren’t vaccinated. You won’t be catching COVID from people in ventilated, open outdoor spaces. 

 

The problem is with the interpretation/definition of ventilated open outdoor spaces. 

Edited by The Evil Genius
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14 minutes ago, No Excuses said:


Outdoor mask wearing was unnecessary even when people weren’t vaccinated. You won’t be catching COVID from people in ventilated, open outdoor spaces. 

I played golf and went to the neighborhood pool all last summer, sure there was some distancing in play but not totally playing by the rules, particularly when alcohol is involved.  We didn't have any cases of anyone in the neighborhood or in our golf league.

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45 minutes ago, No Excuses said:


Outdoor mask wearing was unnecessary even when people weren’t vaccinated. You won’t be catching COVID from people in ventilated, open outdoor spaces. 

 

I think it depends on how crowded your outdoor area is.  

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2 hours ago, RichmondRedskin88 said:


I agree on the last part but we aren’t pass it right now.  Vaccine just gives you good odds of not catching it and even if you do that you did you won’t be likely to have the full effects. You can still spread to people who are trying to get vaccinated but haven’t yet.  Now given the particular friend I’m speaking of kept doing their thing straight through covid way before vaccines.  I also noticed other friends of mine doing wedding and what not indoors with no masks right in the middle covid with a bunch of people. Again when vaccines were barely starting to become available.  Covid has made me look at a few people different.  

 

It's more than good odds. A huge amount of data from public health in 50 states analyzed by CDC shows 1 in 11,000 vaccinated people have been infected anyway, and a smaller portion were symptomatic. More needs to communicated to the public about just how well the mRNA vaccines perform.

 

I have definitely seen some people act absurd, especially with weddings. Making people choose between risk during a pandemic and going to a wedding is ridiculous.

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1 hour ago, No Excuses said:


Outdoor mask wearing was unnecessary even when people weren’t vaccinated. You won’t be catching COVID from people in ventilated, open outdoor spaces. 

 

It depends on what kind of activities you are involved in and with what other measures in place.  Studies estimate 6-10% of global infection traceable to outdoor activities.  That's with all of the pandemic measures in place.  

 

Is outside much safer from covid infection than indoors?  Yes.  Is a universal 24-7 mask mandate outside your home regardless of the activity going overboard?  Yes.  Are people immune from outdoor infection altogether?  That's a clear no.

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1 hour ago, BatteredFanSyndrome said:

I played golf and went to the neighborhood pool all last summer, sure there was some distancing in play but not totally playing by the rules, particularly when alcohol is involved.  We didn't have any cases of anyone in the neighborhood or in our golf league.

 

Best practices or even vaccination is not 100% effective nor will a risky practice always end in bad outcomes.  With 30+ million infected (10% of the population) where countries like South Korea with good adherence to pandemic protocols had 100k (0.2% of the population), I would hope we're past the stage of debating whether pandemic protocols work and whether people should adhere to them.  We can relax them as we learn more, but with herd immunity looking unlikely due to vaccine reluctance, people, especially the unvaccinated, may end up playing with fire.

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54 minutes ago, PleaseBlitz said:

 

I think it depends on how crowded your outdoor area is.  


Yup, generally was a good idea to mask outdoors if someone was talking, singing, shouting etc in close proximity for a prolonged time. But going for a walk in the park, etc, we knew by Fall was safe. 
 

Even less need to worry now outdoors if you’re vaccinated. Talk, sing, dance do whatever. The unvaccinated want to roll the dice for death or Long COVID, more power to them. But I’ve resumed life back to normal, indoors and outdoors. 

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Posted (edited)
29 minutes ago, bearrock said:

 

Best practices or even vaccination is not 100% effective nor will a risky practice always end in bad outcomes.  With 30+ million infected (10% of the population) where countries like South Korea with good adherence to pandemic protocols had 100k (0.2% of the population), I would hope we're past the stage of debating whether pandemic protocols work and whether people should adhere to them.  We can relax them as we learn more, but with herd immunity looking unlikely due to vaccine reluctance, people, especially the unvaccinated, may end up playing with fire.

That’s fine and all, just sharing my experiences.    Feel free to wear three masks while walking the dog if it makes you feel better.  Personally, I’m past the point of caring about the unvaccinated and that includes some of my own family.  At this point, I have zero sympathy for anyone able to get one that chooses not to and ends up ill as a result.

Edited by BatteredFanSyndrome
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