Global advocacy groups argue that waiving patents for Covid-19 vaccines could help expand the global supply of shots and narrow the vaccination gap between rich and poor nations.
The Vatican’s official news site reports that in the message, the Pope calls for “universal access to vaccines and the temporary suspension of intellectual property rights.”
Francis urges the world not to forget the most vulnerable in the face of the pandemic, which has “produced death and suffering, affecting the lives of all” and exacerbated existing social and environmental crises.
He also counsels against individualism, saying God instils a spirit of communion “that allows us to generate a different, more inclusive, fair and sustainable economic model.”
“The Administration believes strongly in intellectual property protections, but in service of ending this pandemic, supports the waiver of those protections for COVID-19 vaccines,” US Trade Representative Katherine Tai wrote in a statement.
According to its website, “Vax Live: The Concert to Reunite the World” is a global broadcast special that “will celebrate hope as families and communities reunite after receiving the vaccine, and call on world leaders to step up for equitable distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine.”