Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison says that the COVID vaccine should be shared with all.
Australia says it has a ‘deep level of sympathy’ with India on COVID vaccine patents.
Along with South Africa, India wants the WTO to temporarily suspend intellectual property rights so that the COVID-19 vaccine and other new technologies are accessible for developing countries.
When asked, Mr Morrison said he spoke to Indian Prime Minister Narendra on the issue.
“On the issue of the patent, I made it clear to the Prime Minister that this was something that Australia was disposed towards. In my address to the United Nations General Assembly about a year ago, I made it clear that during the course of this epidemic that whoever finds the vaccine needs to be able to share it with the rest of the world. And that remains my view,” said Prime Minister Morrison.
However, this support is a change in the country’s stand. Australia has resisted calls for the World Trade Organization to waive patents on Covid-19 vaccines.
Australia is in the minority at the WTO as more than 100 countries back the move, including US. Australia has proposed a compromise that would require developing countries to manufacture generic vaccines to pay for rights.
He said that he commends Narendra Modi for his leadership on Covid Vaccine.
“So I understand that process has been worked through, through the WHO. There are many countries that have to get on board with this. But as I indicated to the Prime Minister, this is something that Australia has as a deep level of sympathy for,” said Mr Morrison.
Australian support to continue
Australian Prime Minister had spoken to his Indian counterpart on Friday. He said that Australia would support India in its fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
He said, “Last Friday I spoke to Narendra Modi and (we) spoke about the serious challenges that India obviously currently facing with the pandemic right across India, which is a heartbreaking story. But our thoughts and support are with the people of India right across the country, not just those Australians and Australian residents and their immediate families who are caught up in this. But, but Indians more broadly, and we are there, as you’ve said, with whatever support we can continue to provide from oxygen concentrators and respirators and other medical equipment, we are there and will continue to provide that support.”