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WHAT IS THE TRIPS WAIVER
Multiple vaccines that have been proven to decrease the severity of COVID-19 infection and strength of transmission have been developed and marketed for widespread use as early as December 2020.
Despite the existence of a vaccine in treating COVID-19 for more than a year , an overwhelming 38% of the global population still has not received a single dose of any COVID-19 vaccine while 45% of the Canadian population has received a third dose of the vaccine.
The World Trade Organization TRIPS (Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) governs the intellectual property rights of COVID-19 related medical technology, including COVID-19 vaccines.
India and South Africa have jointly proposed the TRIPS Waiver, a temporary initiative that would suspend IP rights for COVID-19 related medical technology until the end of the pandemic.
“Every professional engineer shall regard their duty to public welfare as paramount”
– The Engineers Canada Code of Ethics
WHY SHOULD WE ACT
The Canadian Government , in partnership with the vast majority of European states, are opponents of the TRIPS Waiver proposal put forth by India and South Africa. Canada and Europe have achieved vaccination rates of over 80%.
The World Health Organization has stated that increasing wide-spread vaccination will reduce the risk of new variants of concern emerging.
Hundreds of civil society groups across the world have called on WTO member governments to support the TRIPS Waiver proposal, including:
- Doctors Without Borders
- Oxfam Canada
- Amnesty International Canada