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Macron says intellectual property rights must not hinder access to vaccines

PARIS, (The Southern African Times) – Intellectual property rights should not hinder access to vaccines during a pandemic and France and South Africa will propose at the G7 summit that nations work on a limited easing of rules, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Thursday.

Macron said such a move would aid the transfer of technology when the need was pressing, though he also recognised the importance of protecting fair rewards for innovation.

“We should commit at the World Health Organization and at the World Trade Organization to guaranteeing that intellectual property will never be an obstacle to accessing vaccines,” Macron told a news conference in Paris.

He said the African Union sought to vaccinate 60% of the continent’s population by March 2022, and that this was a target G7 leaders should commit to making happen.

Africa represented 20% of the world’s need for COVID-19 vaccine doses, but could only produce 1% of what it required, he said.

Macron also said he wanted the G7 leaders to agree on the reallocation of $100 billion of reserves at the International Monetary Fund towards African states to help them recover from the pandemic-induced economic slump.

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