Waiving patents alone won't solve COVID-19 vaccine access: developers

FILE PHOTO: A woman holds a small bottle labelled with a "Coronavirus COVID-19 Vaccine" sticker in this illustration taken, October 30, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/File Photo

GENEVA (Reuters) - Waiving intellectual property rights will not be enough to resolve COVID-19 vaccine access issues, the developers of the Oxford/Astrazeneca and the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines said on Monday, ahead of a meeting on the topic at the World Trade Organization this week.

“I don’t think just making IP fully available goes anywhere close to solving the problem...,” said the University of Oxford professor Sarah Gilbert at a World Health Organization virtual press conference.

BioNTech’s Chief Medical Officer Dr Özlem Türeci said at the same briefing: “Patents are one thing, but there are so many other things we have to ensure.”

Reporting by Emma Farge, Silke Koltrowitz and Toby Chopra; Editing by Hugh Lawson