Canada Still Won’t Commit to Supporting a Coronavirus Vaccine Patent Waiver ⇥ techdirt.com
Leigh Beadon, Techdirt:
Canada is the biggest hoarder of vaccine pre-orders, having secured enough to vaccinate the population five times over. Despite this, it has constantly run into supply problems and lagged behind comparable countries when it comes to administering the vaccines on a per capita basis. In response to criticism of its hoarding, the government continues to focus on its plans to donate all surplus doses to the COVAX vaccine sharing program — but these promises were somewhat more convincing before Canada became the only G7 country to withdraw doses from COVAX. Despite all this, and despite pressure from experts who explain how vaccine hoarding will prolong the pandemic for everyone, the country has continually refused to voice its support for a TRIPS patent waiver at the WTO.
I cannot imagine what is holding back Canadian support of a waiver on these patents — maybe it is concern over upsetting vaccine suppliers while we are still waiting for deliveries — but it would be inhumane if we remain a holdout when our peers are all vowing to waive intellectual property protections, at least temporarily.