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Can Waiving Patent Rights Bring COVID-19 Relief To Developing Nations?

The Biden administration says it’s willing to ease up patent rules on COVID-19 vaccines to expand the global supply of the inoculations.

The goal? To narrow the massive vaccination gap between rich and poor countries. The rules won’t be immediately relaxed — that will depend on unanimous agreement by all World Trade Organization members, including European nations which haven’t yet signed on.

The proposition raises many questions though, among them, whether developing countries have the infrastructure, manpower, technology and components in place to deliver vaccines quickly enough to slow the spread in their countries. There’s also concern about the future of research if intellectual property rights are weakened.

Dr. Peter Hotez, co-director of Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development, discusses the issues with host Tonya Mosley.

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.