Russia suggests WHO optimize process of prequalification for COVID vaccines

  25 May 2021    Read: 496
Russia suggests WHO optimize process of prequalification for COVID vaccines

Moscow supports the idea of lifting patent protections from vaccines against the novel coronavirus infection, in addition, it has proposed that the World Health Organization (WHO) optimize the procedures for the prequalification of vaccines, Russian Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said at the 74th World Health Assembly, reports citing TASS.

"In order to increase the availability of vaccines, the Russian Federation supports the idea of removing patent protection from the vaccines against the novel coronavirus infection. We propose that the WHO optimize the prequalification procedures of new vaccines and pharmaceuticals in order to reduce the processing time of the applications," he said.

He noted that the key element in the fight against the pandemic is sweeping immunization of the population against COVID-19, noting that Russia was the first worldwide to register a vaccine against the coronavirus. "Our flagship Sputnik V vaccine is certified in 70 countries accounting for about 40% of the world’s population. The bilateral vaccine transfer channels in use facilitate the diversification of supply chains, transfer of domestic technologies, and create jobs," the health minister pointed out.

The issue of patent regulations of the vaccine production became relevant lately due to a discussion at the World Trade Organization (WTO). At the WTO at the end of last year, India and South Africa urged those countries that produce the vaccines against the coronavirus infection to temporarily waive the intellectual property rights to them considering the scale of the pandemic. At a session of the WTO General Council in Geneva, a decision was made to continue discussing this proposal, however, a consensus has not yet been reached.

Earlier, at a G20 summit, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that effective and safe vaccines should be in the public domain, accessible to all. He noted that Russia was ready to provide its pharmaceuticals against the coronavirus infection to the countries that need them.

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