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Ramping up vaccine production, TRIPS waiver to figure prominently in India-EU summit

By Naveen Kapoor | Updated: May 06, 2021 21:16 IST

New Delhi [India], May 6 (ANI): Ramping up global production of vaccines, removing hindrances in supply chains and TRIPS waiver will be part of discussion between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and EU leaders on Saturday during the India-EU summit, EU officials have said.

Prime Minister Modi will participate in the meeting along with the heads of state or government of all the 27 EU member states. The EU+27 have met in this format only once before, with the US President Joe Biden in March this year. 

During the summit, EU leadership is also expected to highlight its idea of promoting multilateral approach for universal vaccination.  It is the proposed global pandemic treaty with World Health Organizatio, an idea backed by Portuguese Prime Minister and the WHO chief which already enjoys support of several countries.

“EU is at the forefront of the delivery of effective vaccines to the rest of the world. So far, we have delivered 200 million doses. This is as much as we have delivered to Europeans. Our main priority is to ramp up the production to achieve global vaccination and, on the other side, we are open to any other effective and pragmatic solution and in this context we stand ready to assess how US proposal will help achieve the particular objective,” an EU official said.

“It’s important to say here that EU is fully committed to tackling all barriers hindering the fight against COVID-19.  It is important for all countries to allow exports, all countries avoid taking any measures that can disrupt important global supply chains. We spoke about pandemic treaty we need to develop. This discussion could also include TRIPS waiver idea,” said another EU official source familiar with developments.

The WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) is a comprehensive multilateral agreement on intellectual property.

EU officials feel the proposed pandemic treaty with WHO would equip the world better for fighting war against COVID-19 and for protecting the world from future health crises.

India-EU summit will also focus on building resilient supply chains. EU sources told ANI that it will also find mention in the joint declaration. 

“India, EU should have resilient supply chains in order to cope as effectively as possible with the pandemic. In the joint declaration, we will agree to start very strong cooperation on resilient medical supply chains, vaccines and the quality of pharma ingredients,” an EU official source said.  

EU believes that till international mechanism is not established for equitable distribution, vaccine producing countries must not stop exports in short term and there should be access to components of vaccines. However, EU understands the worsening situation in India and how desperately India needs vaccines for its citizens in view of surge in cases. There is likely to be discussion on supplying vaccines to India through Covax programme.  (ANI)