Controversy over waiving COVID-19 vaccine patents

Local public health experts weighs in

ROANOKE, Va. – Leaders across the globe are debating whether they should waive patents for COVID-19 vaccines, which could help countries in need fight the virus.

Members of the World Trade Organization said it could allow developing nations to begin producing the vaccines.

This could help hard-hit countries like India.

However, critics said waiving these patents could stifle innovation and lead to counterfeit vaccines.

An assistant professor of public health at Hollins University, Dr. Abubakarr Jalloh, said the priority should be to vaccinate as many people, as quickly as possible.

“Try to provide vaccine equity or even equal distribution of vaccine to the poorest of the poor, especially in low-income countries, I think it’s a welcoming development,” said Jalloh.

The World Trade Organization will meet again next month to discuss the proposal more.

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