July 7, 2022

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South Africa and India will produce Kovit vaccines without asking for a patent

JOHANNESBURG, June 18. The South African government on Saturday announced an agreement with the World Trade Organization (WTO) that would allow this African country and India to produce their own Govt vaccines without seeking permission from patent holders.

The agreement points out that the agreement “allows governments to authorize local manufacturers to manufacture vaccines or their by-products, products or elements without the permission of their holders during the outbreak and to allow the use of patent-covered processes”. , South African vaccine makers and other actors sent to Efe in a joint statement.

For the South African government and other parties, the agreement “is a solid and effective basis for developing strong vaccine production potential in Africa”.

“Our goal now is to ensure that global vaccine buyers meet the demand from African manufacturers,” said Ibrahim Patel, South Africa’s Minister of Commerce and Industry.

“These exemptions and other commitments made in the World Trade Organization are related to the preparation for epidemics, which should allow developing countries to have the necessary legal tools to deal with the variants of COVID-19 in the future, in fact, to be prepared for future epidemics,” he added.

Petro Terblanche, CEO of Afrigen, a South African company, said: “The WTO has reached an important milestone by relinquishing applicable intellectual property rights in the manufacture of vaccines.”

“South Africa’s leadership role in this innovative deal is commendable,” said the company’s director, who designed and developed the first South African vaccine against Covit-19 using messenger ribonucleic acid (MRNA) technology from the same scientific data. Designed by Moderna.

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In a statement on Friday, Amnesty International criticized the agreement, saying the WTO’s decision did not “establish life-saving standards”.

“It has been more than two years since the COVID-19 epidemic, and the WTO has not yet made the necessary changes, ensuring that everyone has access to life-saving health products when they most need them,” the rights group said.

“Under the terms of this decision, hundreds of millions of people in developing countries are likely to remain without access to many of these products,” he added.

The agreement comes after South Africa and India proposed WTO action to suspend the intellectual property rights of anti-Govt-19 vaccines during the epidemic.

During the Govt-19 epidemic, Africa was pushed to the bottom of the world in obtaining vaccines against the corona virus, highlighting the need for continent-based local production of these drugs.

In early June, Dakar Pasteur and the European Investment Bank (EIB) signed a 75 million funding agreement to build a plant in Senegal that plans to produce 300 million doses a year against Kovit-19 and other diseases.

Africa is 99% dependent on vaccine exports, which is why the African Union (AU) wants to produce 50% of these drugs needed for the continent by 2035, and reach 60% of GDP by 2040. EFE

jhb-mrgz / amg