The CEO of Oxfam has called for a total waiver of trade-related intellectual property aspects (TRIPS) on Covid-19 vaccines.
Jim Clarken has warned that until the waiver is issued, there will not be enough Covid-19 vaccines to vaccinate the entire world until around 2023 or 2024.
More than 100 countries, led by South Africa and India, will again advocate today at the World Trade Organization for a TRIPS waiver so that more vaccines can be manufactured outside the companies that have them. developed.
The European Union continues to block the proposal, an approach currently supported by Ireland.
Speaking to RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Clarken said the waiver would free up intellectual property in terms of ingredients and manufacturing method.
He added that if this was done, there would be pharmaceutical companies on three different continents who would be willing and ready to increase production immediately.
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Mr Clarken said it was important to remember that most, or a very large percentage, of the costs of researching these vaccines were paid for by taxpayers who also guaranteed sales of the product.
All companies will make a lot of profit, he said, and they don’t have to keep the intellectual property.
He said such action had already been taken during the global HIV / AIDS epidemic in the 1980s.
Mr Clarken said new strains will continue to appear until everyone is vaccinated, posing a new threat to everyone.
The bottom line, he said, is that there just aren’t enough vaccines and there won’t be enough until the waiver is lifted and there is mass production of vaccines.
Mr Clarken said new research has found the majority of Irish people want the waiver to happen and believe it is the right and right thing to do.
It is possible to do it, he said, it just takes political will.