Covax is a complete success: Schulze against the release of vaccine patents

Covax is a complete success
Schulze against the release of vaccine patents

With the necessary small change in the household budget, western countries can secure more than enough vaccines for their population. Poorer countries have it much more difficult. Development Minister Schulze nevertheless firmly rejects a patent release.

In the dispute over the release of patents for corona vaccines, Federal Development Minister Svenja Schulze has shown herself to be unyielding. “I doubt that developing countries will have easier access to vaccines if we release the patents,” Schulze told the Funke media group. Corporate partnerships for the production of mRNA vaccines under license are helpful. The know-how must be “passed on to developing countries,” demanded the minister.

Schulze denied that he shyed away from conflict with the manufacturers when it came to patents. “I’m here for pragmatism. Theoretical fundamental positions won’t get us anywhere,” she warned. “It is important that production runs. And right now in the pandemic, that is best and fastest done together with the companies.”

At the same time, the SPD politician advocated supporting developing countries in setting up their own vaccine production. “My goal is that developing countries will no longer be dependent on vaccine donations in the future,” said Schulze. For this it is “very important that you set up your own vaccine production”. Germany is helping “with money and know-how”. She is also promoting this in the EU and as part of the German G7 presidency.

Not enough to “pull up the factory”

According to Schulze, Germany has already made more than 500 million euros available for the development and expansion of vaccine production in Africa. The minister announced further investments because “building a factory” is not enough. “The framework conditions, from well-trained specialists on site to functioning regulatory authorities” must also be right.

The World Health Organization (WHO) and a number of other actors have repeatedly criticized the unequal distribution of corona vaccines in the world. The WHO and the vaccination alliance Gavi 2020, among others, founded the international vaccination initiative Covax to supply poorer countries with the vaccines.

Gavi boss Seth Berkley announced that with a delivery to Rwanda on Saturday, Covax had already delivered one billion corona vaccine doses. This is “a milestone in the largest and fastest global vaccine distribution in history,” benefiting 144 countries and territories.