The European Union is urging the United States and other wealthy countries to expand their vaccine exports as a more immediate solution to curbing new waves of COVID-19 across the globe.

Iran PressEurope: According to US media, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said at a news conference during an EU summit in Portugal Friday that while a waiver for international patent protections for the vaccines could help expand access in the long-term, other countries should match what the EU is exporting in order to more quickly inoculate vulnerable populations. 

“We invite all those who engage in the debate of a waiver for (Intellectual Property) rights also to join us to commit to be willing to export a large share of what is being produced in that region,” she said.

“Around 50 percent of what is being produced in Europe is exported to almost 90 countries,” said von der Leyen, who noted this week that the EU had distributed about 200 million doses within the bloc, as well as roughly the same amount to other countries outside the region.

French President Emmanuel Macron also noted Friday that while “you can give the intellectual property to laboratories that do not know how to produce it,” these counties won’t be able to “produce it tomorrow,” thus fueling the need for an immediate increase in vaccine exports. 

While the U.S. and other Western nations have been relatively successful at making the coronavirus vaccine widely available to their own populations, countries like India, which is currently experiencing a record-breaking wave of infections, is struggling to distribute doses to its more than 1 billion citizens. 


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