?Patent Laws and thed-1 Covi9 Vaccine: How Does Self Interest Cause a Deterioration in Human Collaboration and Public Health

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The whole of humanity has been facing completely unprecedented challenges due to the Covid19 pandemic. Economies were brought to a halt as organisations around the globe raced against time to combat this pandemic as quickly as possible. Billions of dollars and months of painstaking research were invested in producing vaccines. However, the mere creation of vaccines is only one step in the process of inoculating the entire world. To effectively combat and end the pandemic, the vaccines have to be administered to the global population. This is a task that has faced even bigger obstacles. Although developed and high-income countries have ensured their position at the front of the vaccine supply chain by expediting research and development, a huge share of the global population residing in low-income countries have been left at a disproportionate disadvantage with much less access to vaccine orders. The protection of intellectual property rights provided under the TRIPS contract has further impeded access to vaccines by keeping their prices inflated. In response to the problem, several low-income nations led by South Africa and India proposed a disclaimer of certain provisions of the TRIPS Agreement to accelerate the manufacture of vaccines and reduce their cost to improve their accessibility. Developed countries rejected this proposal, citing the existence of flexibilities under the TRIPS Agreement. However, as claimed by the sponsors of the waiver proposal and corroborated by this study through its analysis of the arguments of both the critics and the proponents of the waiver proposal, these flexibilities suffer from numerous drawbacks. Therefore, this research puts forward a rational solution to the deadlock in the World Trade Organization, which is to allow the waiver to take place by putting individual commercial interests to one side.
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