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Germany rejects U.S. backed proposal to waive COVID-19 vaccine patents

Minister of Health, Jens Spahn, told journalists on Friday that the German government had rejected the U.S. proposal to waive patent rights on COVID-19 vaccines.

Spahn said as an innovation hub, Germany had an interest in protecting intellectual property rights.

The United States had proposed that pharmaceutical companies’ patents on their COVID-19 vaccines should be temporarily waived.

Manufacturers around the world could then produce the vaccines without paying any licensing fees to the companies that developed the vaccine.

However, Spahn said “the main issue is not the question of patents. The main issue is production capacities.

“The production of mRNA (messenger ribonucleic acid) vaccines in particular is not something that can be somehow done under license somewhere, in some factory.

“It is about technology transfer, which is usually better in cooperation.”

According to Spahn, with COVID-19 raging in India, Germany was “generally committed” to support the country.

“Germany would help any cooperation partner in India in setting up production capacities for COVID-19 vaccines,” Spahn said.

Spahn emphasised that the European Union would “produce for the world, knowing that we are not all safe until everyone in the world is safe.”

Recalling German biotechnological company BioNTech’s plans to produce between two and three billion doses annually of its COVID-19 vaccine, Spahn said that Germany would significantly ramp up vaccine exports. (Xinhua/NAN)

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