US President Joe Biden has received a petition signed by two million people.
As US lawmakers and not-for-profit organizations stepped up pressure on the administration of US President Joe Biden to support a temporary exemption.
This exemption from patent rights for the emerging coronavirus vaccines, in order to help poor countries contain the pandemic.
The organizations delivered a petition signed by two million people, added to separate letters sent to Biden by a group of senators and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
In addition to about 100 members of the House of Representatives, 60 former heads of state, and 100 Nobel Prize winners.
Senator Bernie Sanders said, “It is also in the interest of the United States to ensure that as many people as possible are vaccinated as quickly as possible.
This is in order to reduce the chance of mutations in the virus that may lead to further closures in the United States”.
“On this very important health issue, this ethical issue, the United States must do the right thing,” he said at a press conference.
The United States and a few other major countries have blocked negotiations at the World Trade Organization.
It includes a proposal led by India and South Africa, and now has the support of 100 members of the organization.
Under the proposal, the intellectual property rights of pharmaceutical companies would be temporarily waived to allow developing countries to produce vaccines.
Supporters of the proposal are pressing Washington to change its approach before the next official meeting of the World Trade Organization on the issue on May 5.
On the other hand, opponents argue that “waiving intellectual property rights can reduce the safety of vaccines around the world,” and that “other issues, such as improving distribution networks, are more urgent priorities”.