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Coronavirus: Vaccination

Question for Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

UIN 94368, tabled on 16 December 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will bring forward proposals to waive Intellectual Property rights for covid-19 vaccines.

Answered on

5 January 2022

The Government remains open to all initiatives that will have a demonstrable positive impact on vaccine production and distribution. We do not intend to waive intellectual property rights as we believe this would have precisely the opposite effect.

Our robust international intellectual property framework protects the ability of the world’s leading scientists to come up with new ideas and innovations. This has been critical in underpinning innovators’ confidence to form over 300 vaccine manufacturing partnerships. It will allow us to continue to develop vaccines and treatments at unprecedented pace and meet our ultimate goal of saving lives, throughout the pandemic. There is no evidence that waiving intellectual property rights would help us to meet this goal. Waiving intellectual property rights would dismantle the very framework that helped to produce COVID-19 vaccines at the pace and scale now seen.

While we must continue to ensure vaccine production needs are met globally, the WHO news release of 7 October made it clear that: “With global vaccine production now at nearly 1.5 billion doses per month, there is sufficient vaccine from a supply perspective to achieve global vaccination targets”. We must therefore also focus on issues of distribution and delivery, in order to successfully vaccinate the globe and ensure we are all safe.

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