7th May, 2021
The US has supported the Indian proposal to keep the Covid-19 vaccine out of the intellectual property rights rules, but many rich countries still seem to be mobilizing against it. The Strong lobby of pharma companies of US and Europe is seen standing in the way of this proposal. In such a situation, India has also increased its diplomatic activity. On Friday, when PM Narendra Modi spoke to Australian PM Scott Morrison, he sought his support in this regard. On the other hand, Foreign Minister S.K. Jaishankar has also raised this issue in his talks with the foreign ministers of Japan and Britain on Thursday.
Experts say that this issue will also come up in PM Narendra Modi's summit meeting with the heads of all EU countries on Saturday. On behalf of the European Union, it has been said that it will consider this proposal of India and South Africa, but many powerful countries of the European Union are not very enthusiastic about this proposal. In reality, the European Union is being seen as the biggest bottleneck. Since the Covid-19 vaccine is excluded from the patent scope, whether or not other vaccine manufacturers will be allowed to manufacture it will be decided by consensus in the World Trade Organization (WTO). Every country needs support to get it passed. India understands that this proposal will get the support of almost all member countries of Africa, Latin American, and Asia but the real problem may come from Australia, Canada, and some European countries. This is the reason why India is paying special attention to celebrating the EU.
Support from America is a big achievement
Government sources on India's strategy say that the support from the US is a major achievement, but the objective for which India is seeking to separate the Covid-19 vaccine from TRIPS will have to go a long way. We have seen in the past that it takes months or even years for the WTO to agree on such proposals. This time we do not have time. Second, even after the decision in the WTO, all issues such as creating a vaccine production structure within the country or supplying from one country to another will have to be resolved. Only a few countries in the world have the capacity to manufacture the vaccine and more than this is currently being used. The liability of India, which makes about 60 percent of the vaccine in the world, will increase.