Ahead of a World Trade Organization meeting in Geneva next week to discuss a waiver of certain provisions of the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) for COVID-19, the White House said it will do whatever is best to end the pandemic.
"We're going to do what's in the best interest of ending the pandemic. We are already engaged in steps to increase vaccine production," White House Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters aboard Air Force One on Thursday.
"Moderna announced that it will not enforce its COVID-19-related patents against those making vaccines intended to combat the pandemic. We recently secured a new partnership between Sanofi and Moderna to manufacture 200 million doses," she said.
Responding to a question, Jean-Pierre said no option is off the table and the guiding principle of the Biden administration is getting safe vaccines fast.
US Trade Representative Katherine Tai has held meetings with CEOs of several vaccine manufacturing companies, including Moderna and Pfizer, on the TRIPS waiver issue.
A day earlier, senators Elizabeth Warren, Edward J Markey, Tammy Baldwin, Jeffrey A Merkley, and Christopher Murphy wrote a letter to major vaccine producers as well.
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