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Macron dismisses vaccine patent waiver push, blames ‘Anglo Saxons’ for blocking exports of Covid jabs, raw ingredients

The French president has urged nations not to prevent vaccines and the ingredients needed to make them from being exported around the world, as he said that waiving intellectual property rights would not solve distribution issues.

Speaking to reporters on Friday on arrival for an EU summit in Porto, President Emmanuel Macron criticized the “Anglo-Saxons,” seemingly a reference to the UK and the US, for slowing a global effort to vaccinate people against Covid-19. 

“In order for the vaccine to be widely used,” states must “not block the ingredients and the vaccines themselves,” Macron said. “Today, the Anglo-Saxons block many of these ingredients and vaccines. Currently, 100% of the vaccines produced in the United States of America go for the American market.”

The French president claimed that out of 110 million shots produced in Europe, the EU had exported 45 million and kept 65 million. “We are the most generous in the world today in the camp of the developed countries,” he stated. 

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Von der Leyen says EU ready to discuss Covid-19 vaccine patent waiver following US’ backing of proposal

Speaking after the US gave its backing to a proposal to waive patents on Covid-19 vaccines, Macron suggested intellectual property was not the biggest problem facing international efforts to inoculate people against the virus.  

“What is the current issue? It is not really about intellectual property. Can you give intellectual property to laboratories that do not know how to produce and will not produce tomorrow?” he asked.

On Thursday, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said that Brussels would be willing to look at proposals to waive Covid-19 vaccine patents after the US gave its backing to the plan on Wednesday. Europe’s vaccination campaign has lagged behind those in the UK and US.

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