The Biden administration supports the waiving of intellectual property protection for coronavirus vaccines due to the global emergency triggered by the pandemic, US Trade Representative Katherine Tai said.
“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,” Tai said in a statement on Wednesday.
Tai said the Biden administration’s priority had been to first immunize Americans and then extend to other countries in need.
“The administration’s aim is to get as many safe and effective vaccines to as many people as fast as possible,” Tai said. “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.”
To expedite the global availability of vaccines, the United States will actively participate in text-based negotiations at the World Trade Organization, Tai said.
The United States has administered 248 million coronavirus vaccines to date, with 106 million Americans or 32.3 percent of the population being fully immunized from the virus.