The world Trade organization (WTO) sealed by an the unprecedented agreement of 164 WTO members, has finally approved Covid vaccines against patent rights and the mounted barriers by the intellectual property restrictions to manufacture for a period of 5 years. This step shall help boost the production for an equitable distribution among nations to fight the global pandemic. Until now the pharmaceutical companies who has the patent was only permitted to manufacture the vaccines.
There were submissions from India and South Africa in 2020, to temporary waive the IP rights and obligations under the TRIPS Agreement so as to provide for the large population who comes under the very low income group and to stabilise the health of the enormous population. Under the terms of the new deal, WTO members have six months to decide on whether to extend the measures "to cover the production and supply of Covid-19 diagnostics and therapeutics".
According to the World Health Organization ( WHO),“while 60 percent of the world's population has received two vaccine doses, that number falls to 17%in Libya, 8% in Nigeria and less than five percent in Cameroon”
However , IFPMA (International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations) director general Thomas Cueni, points out that it was not actually the complications involved with the IP rights but with the trade and sanctions between the countries that hinder in reaching the vaccines at prompt times, which the WTO has never made a point to address on the issue. The waiver submission has been supported by 100other countries major include U.S, France, China, Russia and Australia.