Discussions of world leaders about the abolishing of intellectual property rights of covid-19 vaccines have brought along differences of opinion on this issue. The world is currently debating whether removing vaccine patent rights will actually work in the fight against the corona pandemic or hinder the development and production of vaccines that are vital to humanity.
While America and Russia are in favor of abolishing these rights, Europe argues that the problem of the unequal distribution of vaccines all over the world cannot be solved by abolishing the patent right of vaccines.
People who take side to the abolition of vaccine patent rights argue that vaccine manufacturers should transfer their know-how and technologies, in favor of easier access to drugs and a special arrangement that allows the suspension of patent rights. Pharmaceutical companies state that the suspension of patent rights will not increase the supply of vaccines in the short term. The complexity and size of vaccine production is ignored. The vaccine manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies are already collaborating with developing countries to increase their vaccine capacity. While it takes a long time like 8 months for Biontech to start vaccine production, the fact that poor countries have much lower vaccination rates than developed countries. It brings to mind the question of whether the problem is not only due to insufficient production capacity but is the result of the profit-oriented approach of pharmaceutical companies.
Author: Özge Özdemir