Pope backs coronavirus vaccine patent waivers

Pope Francis on Saturday threw his support behind calls to waive intellectual property rights on coronavirus vaccines.

In a pre-recorded video message at Vax Live, a fundraising concert, the pope described “closed nationalism,” preventing an “internationalism of vaccines,” as a variant of the virus.

“Another variant is when we put the laws of the market … or intellectual property over the laws of love and the health of humanity,” he added, according to a Reuters report.

U.S. President Joe Biden came out in favor of suspending patents for coronavirus vaccines earlier this week. But the idea has received a frosty reception in Europe. EU leaders have expressed skepticism that it would increase vaccine supply in poorer countries and called on the U.S. and U.K. to lift de facto export bans.

“As Europeans, we don’t need to be schooled,” Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said Saturday, summing up the view of fellow EU leaders at a summit in the Portuguese city of Porto.

“The U.S. hasn’t exported a single vaccine in the past six months. Europe is the one that’s been producing for itself and the rest of the world these past six months.”



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