Macron says EU and Africa seek vaccine deal at February summit – POLITICO
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The EU is working with African countries on an agreement to improve access to coronavirus vaccines, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Wednesday.
Addressing the European Parliament, Macron said the leaders intended to present an agreement at the EU-African Union summit next month. He said he hoped EU leaders would agree to a global license for coronavirus vaccines, removing barriers to securing the capacity, intellectual property and technology that Africa needs. to make their own vaccines.
The EU is working with African countries to establish a number of vaccine production sites on the continent. Yet so far the bloc has pushed back on calls for developing countries to give up intellectual property rights to coronavirus vaccines held by major drugmakers. German BioNTech has developed one of the world’s leading coronavirus vaccines.
Vaccine access campaigners argue that intellectual property rights are a barrier to wider vaccination in the developing world. Only 10% of the African population is fully vaccinated, compared to 70% in the EU.
Macron said the global license proposal being discussed is in line with demands made by leaders of the World Trade Organization and the World Health Organization, the Geneva-based multilateral groups where the debate over waivers to intellectual property has dragged on for much of the pandemic.
Macron also defended the EU’s record of exporting vaccines, saying the bloc had shipped half of the 2.5 billion doses produced within it abroad. The French president said that unlike the United States, the EU had not imposed an export ban on vaccine ingredients or doses.
In fact, the Commission put in place a mechanism that would block the export of doses and used it for a shipment of 250,000 doses of Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine originally destined for Australia. At the time, officials from third countries also claimed that the Commission had informally pressured vaccine manufacturers not to export doses, without having to officially activate the mechanism.
Macron says EU and Africa seek vaccine deal at February summit - POLITICO
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