France's Macron backs COVID-19 vaccine patent waiver
People's Daily Online
(Xinhua) 10:50, May 07, 2021
PARIS, May 6 (Xinhua) -- French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday said he backed the proposal for a waiver of intellectual property rights on COVID-19 vaccines to boost production and accelerate rollout globally to end the pandemic.
"I am very much in favor of opening up intellectual property. We must obviously make this vaccine a global public good," Macron told reporters at the opening of the French capital's largest vaccination center at Porte de Versailles.
"What makes vaccination difficult today is the transfer of technology and the capacity to produce," he said.
Macron stressed that "the priority, today, is certainly to give doses. In the short term, this is what will allow us to vaccinate people. And the second thing is to produce, in partnership with the poorest countries."
Macron also announced that all adults in France, regardless of their age, would be eligible to be vaccinated from May 12 if enough jabs are available.
"We don't want even a single dose to go to waste," he said.
In a further move to step up vaccination, people over 50 could receive their first shot from next Monday instead of from May 15, he added.
The French government aims to inoculate 20 million people by mid-May.
As of Wednesday, 16.76 million people in France, or 31.9 percent of the adult population, had received at least one vaccine dose, and 7.14 million, both doses, the country's Health Ministry said.
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