The World Trade Organization has agreed to lift Covid vaccine patents, but is it ‘too late’?

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After two years of arduous negotiations, the World Trade Organization agreed Friday to temporarily lift patents on Covid-19 vaccines, but experts are sceptical that the agreement will have a significant impact on global vaccination inequality.

The unprecedented agreement, reached after late-night overtime talks by all 164 WTO members, will grant developing countries the right to manufacture Covid vaccines for five years “without the consent of the right holder.”

Since October 2020, South Africa and India have called for intellectual property rights for coronavirus vaccines to be temporarily lifted in order to increase production and address the stark disparity in access between rich and poor countries.

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