For India and other countries, an IP waiver is a distraction not a solution to the covid-19 vaccine crisis
Drawn-out discussions about a covid-related TRIPs suspension will not help the huge numbers of people in India and elsewhere waiting for vaccines, argue Deepa Tiku and Jyoti Sagar of K&S Partners
As the world wades through the second year of the deadliest pandemic in living memory, we are all fighting a common invisible enemy: the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.
Coming to humanity’s rescue, scientists from around the world have worked round the clock to develop, within an unprecedented timeline, several vaccines to battle the virus. According to data published by the WHO, a total of 102 novel coronavirus vaccine candidates are under clinical development and another 185 are in pre-clinical development. Many vaccines have already been deployed around the world and the latest statistics available from ourworldindata.org indicate that more than 2 billion people have already been vaccinated. This is no mean feat in such a short time.
Yet, there is a glaring gap in the vaccinated populations between the developed world and the rest. While the United States has inoculated more than 65% of its citizens, some of the least developed countries (LDCs) have yet to begin their vaccination programmes.
This brings to fore the raging debate on vaccine inequity, and rightly so. After all, how can anyone be safe until everyone is safe?