LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–An EU Ambassador has dismissed as premature a call by India to urgently convene a World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference to continue moving forward the debate on a proposed waiver of intellectual property rights protections on COVID-19 vaccines. AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) characterized this EU position as reprehensible and dimwitted.
“Europe is sawing off the branch it’s sitting on. In the next two months, Omicron could infect 50% of Europeans, according to the WHO, but the EU is blocking the one thing that can help stop the constant cycle of variants – expanded access to vaccines around the world,” said AHF President Michael Weinstein. “Considering this kind of obstructionism flies in the face of science and public health, Einstein’s famous quote is fitting to describe the EU’s behavior: ‘Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.’”
India and South Africa advanced a proposal at the WTO to suspend patent protections on COVID-19 vaccines over a year ago. While the United States and many other nations support this measure, the EU and several other wealthy countries have done their utmost to stall the debate. It remains to be seen if growing social unrest in Europe and financial shocks brought on by repeated lockdowns will be enough to convince the EU that the current course of action on vaccine hoarding and protectionism is not sustainable during a pandemic.
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to over 1.6 million clients in 45 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Europe. To learn more about AHF, please visit our website: www.aidshealth.org, find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth and follow us on Twitter: @aidshealthcare and Instagram: @aidshealthcare
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