Thursday, 06 May 2021
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Hi Everyone

I'm a wind turbine designer, so not exactly an expert in vaccines and patents. I was hoping that someone with a lot more healthcare or legal knowledge than me can explain why there are not some government funded public domain COVID-19 vaccines, or alternatively why patents have not been waived for low income countries. From my non expert perspective, it seems that we all have an interest in ensuring that everyone gets vaccinated, regardless where they live. Firstly, because it's the ethical thing to do, and secondly, because viruses don't respect borders.

I look forward to your thoughts.
1 year ago
There seems to have been a breakthrough today. The Biden Administration has decided to waive patents on COVID vaccines. Hopefully, the EU and other countries will follow.

But of course, patents are just one of the barriers for vaccine access to low income countries.

“It’s a 1-2-3,” explains Rachel Cohen, the US director for the non-profit organization Drugs and Neglected Diseases initiative, based in New York City. “First we need to remove patent obstacles, second we need to transfer the knowledge on how to make them, and step three is a massive investment in manufacturing capacity.”

Adam Thyer, Founder at GreenExecutive

1 year ago
Apparently Bill Gates is a big part of the reason why vaccine production remained commercial and subject to patents, even though so much of the R&D was funded by government:
1 year ago
Here are a couple more stories giving background about why vaccines were not developed in the public domain:
1 year ago
I hope there is more action to assist developing countries obtain sufficient vaccine supplies!
1 year ago
To answer that question, we probably need to follow the money:

According to Coherent Market Insights, the global coronavirus vaccine market is estimated to be valued at US$ 38,563.2 Mn in 2021 and is expected to exhibit a CAGR of 56.1% during the forecast period (2021-2028).

1 year ago
I recently read a story in The Guardian which says:

The world’s developing countries could be vaccinated against Covid-19 at a cost of just $6.5bn (£4.6n) if pharmaceutical companies waive their intellectual property rights, under plans being outlined at the G7 summit this weekend.

Unless an agreement is reached with vaccine developers, the cost of vaccinating the citizens of all low- and middle-income countries could reach $80bn, according to calculations by the aid charity Oxfam.

Campaigners say G7 leaders must support a global network of manufacturing sites for the most effective vaccines, allowing developing world countries to distribute doses safely and effectively.
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