Patent approval for vaccines: EU on hold

The EU does not see the US proposal for the release of patents as a quick solution to the global shortage of corona vaccines, but does not want to shut itself off from a discussion about it. “We do not think that this is a miracle solution in the short term,” said EU Council President Charles Michel on Saturday after consultations with the heads of state and government in the Portuguese coastal city of Porto.

But one is ready to discuss the topic as soon as a concrete proposal is on the table. At the same time, international partners should be encouraged to facilitate the export of corona vaccines.

US President Joe Biden had surprisingly backed calls from poorer countries to suspend patent protection for Covid-19 vaccines. Then manufacturers all over the world could produce the vaccines without license fees. Critics object that it is not the patents that are the obstacle, but rather production capacities, knowledge and raw material supplies.

The EU stresses that it is currently the only democratic region that exports corona vaccine on a large scale. More than 200 million cans were exported from the EU – about as many as were shipped within the Union. The USA, however, will primarily keep the vaccine it produces itself. Biden said at the end of April that the vaccines from the USA would also become an “arsenal” for other countries in the future. But before that, every American would have access.


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