The White House considers lifting the intellectual property shield


Johnson & Johnson Janssen Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Vaccine Vials.

Johnson & Johnson via Reuters

The White House is considering lifting intellectual property protections on Covid-19 vaccines.

The measure would allow other countries to replicate existing vaccines. The United States has so far approved three shots: one developed by the American company Pfizer and BioNTech based in Germany, another produced by the American firm Moderna, and the third by the American company Johnson & Johnson.

Concerns have grown about the United States and a handful of other wealthy countries that own the rights to a disproportionate amount of the world’s vaccine supply, while other nations struggle to vaccinate their people.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has written to the White House in support of the measure. Developing countries have also urged the World Trade Organization to make intellectual property available.

Nearly 19% of American adults and about 15% of the total US population are fully vaccinated, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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