I urge President Biden to make the COVID-19 vaccine more available by waiving US intellectual property rules. In addition, I hope the US will join with South Africa and other countries urging the World Trade Organization to temporarily waive COVID-19 vaccine patents.
This is a pandemic, and as such we must look beyond our borders to contain it. It is also a humanitarian crisis, as India tops 3 million cases and is running out of oxygen to treat severe cases. It is unconscionable that vaccine patents are forcing countries in the Global South to wait years until they are able to get the vaccine. I am extremely grateful that the vaccine is available in the US. However, we should not hoard vaccines the way people were hoarding toilet paper and hand sanitizer early in the pandemic.