Any agreement must be accepted by the WTO’s 164 member countries in order to be adopted. If one country rejects the proposal, it could mean the end of the waiver.
If approved, the agreement would mean countries accounting for less than 10% of global exports of Covid-19 shots in 2021 could permit domestic manufacturers to produce vaccines without patent-holder consent for three or five years.
That would exclude China but clear India, which banned vaccine exports for much of 2021 after a wave that severely impacted the population.
The agreement would also cover Covid-19 vaccines, and after six months this would be revisited to potentially cover tests and therapeutics. This would benefit less economically developed countries that have struggled to gain access to an adequate supply of vaccinations.
Too little too late?
The agreement, first suggested by India and South Africa 18 months ago
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