Pope Francis backs waivers on intellectual property rights for vaccines


FILE PHOTO: Pope Francis holds a weekly general audience in the library of the Apostolic Palace at the Vatican, April 28, 2021. Vatican Media/?Handout via REUTERS

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Francis on Saturday supported waiving intellectual property rights for COVID-19 vaccines, backing a proposal by U.S. President Joe Biden that has been rebuffed by some European nations, including Germany.

In a speech to a global fundraising concert to promote fair access to vaccines, the pope said the world was infected with the "virus of individualism".

"A variant of this virus is closed nationalism, which prevents, for example, an internationalism of vaccines," he said in the pre-recorded video message.

"Another variant is when we put the laws of the market or of intellectual market or intellectual property over the laws of love and the health of humanity," he added, recalling the heavy death toll the coronavirus had inflicted on the world.

His comments came in the middle of a debate over whether pharmaceutical companies should waive patent protection for COVID-19 vaccines.

Biden backed such a move on Wednesday, heeding calls from India, South Africa and more than 100 other countries.

However, many European countries, led by Germany and France, distanced themselves on Friday from the suggestion, arguing that key to ending the COVID-19 pandemic was making and sharing vaccines more quickly.

(Reporting by Crispian Balmer; editing by Jason Neely and Clelia Oziel)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 46
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
   

Next In World

U.S. says Biden, Erdogan agreed on Afghanistan but S-400 issue is unresolved
Moscow facing new aggressive coronavirus variant, mayor says
Ecuador to start new 'normalization process' for Venezuelan migrants
United Nations set to call for halt of arms to Myanmar: diplomats
Argentine port unions say to go on 24-hour strike over vaccine access
Under pressure, German Greens leader hits 'restart' with new book
Zambia's founding president, Kenneth Kaunda, dies aged 97
Prosecutor seeks prison time for French ex-president Sarkozy, BFM TV reports
Navalny mocks Putin over accusation he consciously left in a coma
Olympics: Japan to ease state of emergency, focus on Games spectators

Stories You'll Enjoy


Vouchers