By Andrea Shalal and Emma Forge
(Reuters) – The United States, the European Union, India and South Africa have reached an interim agreement on key elements of a limited intellectual property waiver for the Kovit-19 vaccine after lengthy negotiations, sources familiar with the matter said.
Evidence suggests that an interim agreement between the four members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) still requires formal approval from the parties before it can be considered official.
This only applies to the Govit-19 vaccine patents, which, with a much more limited scope than the US-backed WTO’s broader intellectual property waiver program, they said.
The interim agreement closely reflects the EU’s compulsory licensing approach and does not include Govt treatments or trials, as well as a source saying China should be exempted from any exemptions.
Spokesmen for the WTO and the US Trade Representative’s Office did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The interim agreement comes after several months of negotiations on how to accelerate the production of corona virus vaccines in developing countries where vaccination rates are far behind those of rich countries.
(Reporting by Andrea Shalal and David Lauder, Washington; Emma Forge, Geneva; and Phil Blenkinshop, in Brussels)
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