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MPs urge government to back international calls to temporarily waive Covid-19 vaccine patents

A GROUP of 36 MPs is urging the British government to back international calls for patents on Covid-19 vaccines to be waived temporarily.  

Some 130 countries have yet to receive a single dose of the vaccine, with just 10 nations having administered 75 per cent of all jabs so far, according to the United Nations. 

To address this stark disparity, the group of MPs – including Labour’s Richard Burgon, Diane Abbott, Clive Lewis and Zarah Sultana – is urging Prime Minister Boris Johnson to back calls by over 100 countries for patents on Covid-19 vaccines to be set aside. 

The call was first made by South Africa and India to the World Trade Organisation.

Through patents, private pharmaceutical companies retain exclusive rights to manufacture these vaccines, creating “artificial shortages” of the jab, a letter from the group points out. 

Mr Burgon, who drafted the letter, said: “There has been huge public investment in developing the vaccines and this must be used for the public good. 

“The PM must do the right thing and back this global call for temporary, emergency waving of vaccine patents until enough people are vaccinated across the world.”

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