Legal | Policy Insight
An overwhelming surge in COVID-19 cases in India last month stalled the distribution of COVID vaccines to low and middle-income countries under the COVAX facility which had been previously hailed as the fulfillment of the promise “to ensure people from less wealthy countries are not left behind in the race for life-saving vaccines”.
The stagnation of the COVAX initiative invited renewed attention to the contentious petition jointly presented by India and South Africa to the World Trade Organisation for a waiver of some Intellectual Property (IP) rights to allow for the local manufacturing of vaccines developed elsewhere.
This paper seeks to provide the legal context to the petition. The first section will provide a brief overview of IP rights to people new to the field. The initiated may skip to section 2 which discusses the agreement on Trade-Related Aspects Of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) waiver.
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Sam Kwadwo Owusu-Ansah | Research Analyst, Transnational Policy | firstname.lastname@example.org
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