In the midst of the raging COVID-19 pandemic, US President Joe Biden openly supported the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) proposal to lift the proprietary limits on COVID-19 vaccines, in service of expanding distribution to poorer nations that are currently being battered by the pandemic.
A patent waiver, if agreed, would help countries with restricted access to COVID-19 vaccines so far, manufacture their own desperately-needed vaccines, inoculate their populations, and achieve, as such, immunization coverage targets.
The proposal was also firmly supported, among others, by the World Health Organisation (WHO) with Director General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, urging other countries to follow the US example and support the WTO’s motion.
Strengthening the global supply of vaccines would provide a major boost to efforts to contain COVID-19. Τhe Thalassaemia International Federation (TIF) has repeatedly stressed since the early days of the pandemic the need to intensify international and multilateral cooperation in order to effectively tackle coronavirus, the effects of which are arguably more dramatic in the developing world. TIF is fully supportive of all actions that can help developing countries, in which the majority of patients with thalassaemia and haemoglobin disorders reside, acquire vaccines in an equitable and timely way.
It is our firm belief that before this international health calamity no single country can be safe until all are safe.