COVID vaccine patents not discussed at G7 health ministers meeting

German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach attends the weekly cabinet meeting at the German Federal Chancellery in Berlin, Germany May 18, 2022. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

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BERLIN, May 19 (Reuters) – The issue of patents on COVID-19 vaccines was not discussed at a meeting of health ministers from the Group of Seven (G7) countries in Berlin, said German Health Ministers Karl Lauterbach on Thursday.

“We haven’t discussed patent release because the question hasn’t come up yet, but it can definitely happen,” Lauterbach said at a joint press conference with German Development Minister Svenja. Schulze.

“The problem we have right now is the willingness of middle- and low-income countries to use the vaccine,” Lauterbach said, adding that there were more vaccines available than people willing to take it.

Germany is against a planned intellectual property waiver for COVID-19 vaccines, saying patents are a crucial way to encourage companies to keep pushing new research forward. Read more

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Reporting by Riham Alkousaa Editing by Paul Carrel

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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