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AFA Continues Advocacy for Worldwide Vaccine Access

Date: May 7, 2021

Our efforts to help get the world vaccinated as soon as possible are working.  AFA continues to advocate that airline travel cannot fully recover until the entire world has access to the COVID-19 vaccine.  The first step in making that happen is to waive patent protections for the COVID-19 vaccine and President Biden agrees.

The Biden team said on Wednesday, that it backs waiving patent and other intellectual property protections for COVID-19 vaccines to help expand production of the life-saving shots worldwide. India and South Africa first called for a broad waiver of all intellectual property protections for COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics.  The previous administration was in opposition to this measure, but the Biden team has reversed that position acting to make the vaccination as broadly available as possible.

The next step is for the U.S. to engage in detailed negotiations at the World Trade Organization (WTO) on the scope of the waiver.  Then, all members of WTO must unanimously agree to the waiver.  Already the shift in the U.S.’ position on this issue has encouraged the European Union to consider signing on to the waiver. 

If the WTO agrees to waive patent and other intellectual property protections, that will go a long way in ramping up vaccine production around the world.  We need shots in the arms of the world so we can return to flying a full aircraft schedule and ultimately, profitability.

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