Activists Say WTO Deal on Vaccine Patents Is “Sham” Dictated by Rich Nations

The World Trade Organization’s 12th Ministerial Conference ended Friday with an agreement on patent rights that campaigners said would do virtually nothing to address vast global inequities in coronavirus vaccine and treatment access, a failure they attributed to relentless obstruction by rich countries and the pharmaceutical industry. Reached after marathon negotiations, the narrow deal clarifies governments’ ability to use compulsory licensing to ramp up vaccine production without the consent of patent-holding pharmaceutical companies. The agreement also temporarily eases restrictions on the export of vaccines produced under compulsory licenses. The final text, which is set to remain in effect for a…

As COVID Cases Surge in Europe, US Death Toll Now Surpasses 2020 Fatalities

Europe is in the grip of a potentially devastating fourth coronavirus wave and the United States has now recorded more Covid-19 deaths in 2021 than it did in 2020, heightening alarm among public health experts who fear another brutal winter surge. Dr. Hans Kluge, the World Health Organization’s regional director for Europe, warned Saturday that the coronavirus could kill 500,000 more people in Europe by March if political leaders don’t take immediate action to forestall the current spread and increase vaccine uptake, which has been lagging in parts of the continent due, in some cases, to anti-vaccine sentiment. “Covid-19 has…

Translate »