Will look at text for India’s WTO move on vaccines IP waiver: U.K. Minister

India’s aspiration to be the pharmacy of the world is incredibly exciting for us, says Nadhim Zahawi.

The U.K. will look at any text submitted to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) seeking an intellectual property (IP) waiver to boost the supply and production of COVID-19 vaccines, the country’s vaccines minister said on Thursday.

Nadhim Zahawi, the minister in charge of the UK’s COVID-19 vaccine deployment, however, issued a word of warning over any patent waiver moves to ensure they do not impact the confidence in the jabs being administered. Since the U.S. threw its support behind temporarily suspending IP protections for COVID-19 vaccines back in May, the movement led by India and South Africa has come into sharp focus.

“President (Joe) Biden talked about looking at vaccine IP. We would look at any text presented at the WTO because no one is safe until we are all safe,” Mr. Zahawi said, in response to a question on patent waivers at the India Global Forum in London.

“I would issue a word of warning here, that simple solutions don’t always work for complex manufacturing requirements because technology transfer is not easy. Quality control is very important. There are no easy answers,” he warned.

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