Tuesday August 03, 2021

Merkel defends patent protection for COVID-19 vaccines

Published : 25 Jun 2021, 00:12

  DF News Desk

German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives for a NATO summit at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, on June 14, 2021. File Photo: NATO/Handout via Xinhua.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel defended patent protection for COVID-19 vaccines in a government statement in the Bundestag (lower house of Parliament) on Thursday, reported Xinhua.

"A politically enforced release of patents is, in my opinion, the wrong way to go," said Merkel. She said she was convinced that "we need to increase the production of vaccines on the basis of licenses as quickly as possible."

The world will "continue to depend on vaccines being developed in the future," Merkel said in the German government's statement on the June 24-25 European Council meeting in Brussels. "This will only succeed if the protection of intellectual property is not overridden but is preserved."

At their summit, the EU's heads of state and government will discuss, among other things, the progress of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign and the global distribution of vaccines.

Merkel emphasized that the decision to jointly procure vaccines in Europe was right. "Anything else might have given some member states short-term advantages but would have severely disrupted life in the internal market."

As of Wednesday, more than 27.8 million people in Germany had been fully vaccinated, bringing the country's vaccination rate to 33.5 percent, according to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). More than 43.4 million people received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose.

"The pandemic can only be defeated globally and the key to this is vaccination," Merkel stressed. It is therefore important that the Group of Seven (G7) countries (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States) aim to distribute 2.3 billion vaccine doses to the developing countries by 2022.