Czech Pirates call on government, EU to waive vaccine intellectual property rights

“Everyone, including EU states, has to realise that the global pandemic can be solved only through solidarity, through the sharing of vaccines, sources, technologies and know-how,” Czech MEP Markéta Gregorová (Pirates, Greens/EFA) told EURACTIV.cz. [Shutterstock/siam.pukkato]

The Pirate Party (Greens/EFA), the strongest Czech opposition party, called on the government and the EU to waive intellectual property rights related to COVID-19 vaccines, claiming such a move could boost manufacturing capacities and secure more vaccines for Europe and developing countries.

“Everyone, including EU states, has to realise that the global pandemic can be solved only through solidarity, through the sharing of vaccines, sources, technologies and know-how,” Czech MEP Markéta Gregorová (Pirates, Greens/EFA) told EURACTIV.cz.

The European Commission has so far not been willing to support the temporary waiver of intellectual property rights, although humanitarian organisations such as Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) have already backed such an exemption.

The Czech Pirates have also criticised vaccine export bans after the European Commission, cautiously backed by EU countries, tightened the bloc’s rules on vaccine exports last week.  

“Vaccine protectionism is not a solution, we would shoot ourselves in the foot. Manufacture for many states is taking place in Europe but materials are coming from the whole world. An export ban on vaccines only prolongs the crises and unfortunately opens the window for new mutations,” Gregorová added. (Aneta Zachová | EURACTIV.cz)

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