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WHO calls for fair access to vaccine through patent limits

US declines to join effort as drugmakers eye big payouts

The WHO wants to limit patents on the eventual COVID-19 vaccine to ensure access for everyone.    © Reuters

GENEVA -- As the race for a COVID-19 vaccine heats up, the World Health Organization is looking to limit the drug patents of the eventual developer to give all countries equal access -- an idea that does not sit well with the U.S., whose drugmakers are betting big on a potential cash cow.

The WHO on Tuesday adopted a resolution promising international cooperation to provide vaccines at affordable prices by limiting patents. The nonbinding resolution was proposed by members including Japan and the European Union, but the U.S. was not one of them.

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