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COVID vaccines

Vaccine patent waiver: COVID stopper or innovation killer?

Five things to know about India's proposal, US support and China's chance to gain

An Indian policeman asks people who came for COVID-19 vaccine shots to leave due to exhausted supplies in Mumbai on May 3.   © Reuters

TOKYO/NEW DELHI -- The U.S. earlier this month said it supports temporarily waiving intellectual property protections on COVID-19 vaccines. In doing so, President Joe Biden's administration threw serious weight behind a proposal brought to the World Trade Organization by India and South Africa.

Other emerging countries such as Pakistan, Mongolia and a group of least-developed nations including Bangladesh have backed the idea as well. They argue patents and other restrictions hinder timely access to affordable inoculations and could prolong the pandemic.

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