Science

Vaccines: Macron calls on labs to give 10% of doses to poor countries

French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday called on pharmaceutical companies to give poor countries 10% of the doses of anti-Covid vaccines sold and wanted the G7 to endorse the target of 60% of Africans vaccinated by the end of March 2022.

“Donations of doses by the States must be supplemented by a donation of doses by pharmaceutical laboratories”, such as the 10% commitment of donations by the private sector made during the H1N1 epidemic, he recalled. in front of the press.

“States have massively funded research and the purchase of doses” and “it is legitimate that” the pharmaceutical industry contributes proportionately to this solidarity, “he said.

He also wanted the G7, which starts on Friday in the United Kingdom, “to endorse the target of 60% of Africans vaccinated by the end of the first quarter of 2022”, a target defined by the African Union crisis agency, which provides for an intermediate target of 40% at the end of 2021.

“This is an increased target compared to the one we had committed to having under Covax”, the international mechanism for donating doses to poor countries, “which was only 20%” of Africans vaccinated this year, he said.

This 60% objective, “I think it is the right objective and it is the one that we must endorse within the framework of this G7, France is ready to play its full part”, added the French president, recalling that France as Germany have each announced their intention to give 30 million doses, “which allows the European Union to have at least the objective of 100 million doses” given.

He also “welcomed” the American intention, announced Thursday by the White House, to give 500 million doses to poor countries. “If they are more ambitious than us (Europeans, editor’s note), we must join their ambition and do at least as much,” he said.

But he also once again called on the United States to lift its restrictions on the export of components which, according to him, have prevented the production of vaccines in third countries and constitute for him the most immediate priority.

Emmanuel Macron also confirmed that he supported the proposal of India and South Africa for a temporary suspension of patents on vaccines, during the crisis, which was welcomed by the NGO Oxfam.

On the other hand, there is no question of a definitive lifting of intellectual property which, according to him, would kill innovation. “We need to combine the capacity to produce and at the same time fair remuneration for intellectual property for those who innovate.”

If on this point the United States has a better proposal during the G7, “I am ready to go along with it”, he concluded.

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